Assessments of an economy's progress, and of the merits of specific policies, have often been informed by quantitative estimates of the magnitude, depth, and severity of poverty. As we have seen a number of times in this monograph, such assessments can be quite sensitive to the measurement assumptions being made; for example, it is common for developing country poverty lines to be at or near the mode of the consumption distribution, at which point the head-count index of poverty will be very sensitive to the precise location of that line, since this is the point where the cumulative frequency distribution is steepest.