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When Necessity Displaces Desire

   Undercounting the very poor

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Posted in Contemporary economics Tagged with: , , ,

When Anthony Atkinson was seventeen and finished with boarding school, in 1962, he quit his job at IBM in London to spend nine months working at a hospital for the poor in Hamburg, Germany, as a kind of British Peace Corps volunteer. Working for IBM had been interesting, he told his friend Nicholas Stern in an interview: “there were still valves in computers in those days.”  But the effect of the demanding work in the hospital was more profound. . . Returning to his studies, he joined the Child Poverty Action Group. The Poor and the Poorest, by Brian Abel-Smith