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An aspect of variable population poverty comparisons

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Author Info

  • Hassoun, Nicole
  • Subramanian, S.

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that the property of Replication Invariance, generally considered to be an innocuous requirement for the extension of fixed-population poverty comparisons to variable-population contexts, is incompatible with other plausible variable- and fixed-population axioms. This fact raises questions about what constitutes an appropriate headcount assessment of poverty, in terms of whether one should focus on the proportion, or the absolute numbers, of the population in poverty. This observation, in turn, has important implications for tracking poverty and setting targets for its reduction or elimination.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 98 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 238-241

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:98:y:2012:i:2:p:238-241

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

Related research

Keywords: Variable populations; Fixed populations; Replication Invariance; Population Focus; Income focus; Impossibility result;

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References

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  1. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  2. Broome, John, 1996. "The Welfare Economics of Population," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 177-93, April.
  3. Ravi Kanbur & Diganta Mukherjee, 2007. "Premature Mortality And Poverty Measurement," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 339-359, October.
  4. Zheng, Buhong, 1994. "Can a Poverty Index Be Both Relative and Absolute?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1453-58, November.
  5. Satya Chakravarty & Ravi Kanbur & Diganta Mukherjee, 2006. "Population growth and poverty measurement," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 471-483, June.
  6. Kundu, Amitabh & Smith, Tony E, 1983. "An Impossibility Theorem on Poverty Indices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(2), pages 423-34, June.
  7. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1984. "Social criteria for evaluating population change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 13-33, November.
  8. Blackorby,Charles & Bossert,Walter & Donaldson,David J., 2005. "Population Issues in Social Choice Theory, Welfare Economics, and Ethics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521825511, October.
  9. Julia Paxton, 2003. "A poverty outreach index and its application to microfinance," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 9(2), pages 1-10.
  10. Donaldson, David & Weymark, John A, 1986. "Properties of Fixed-Population Poverty Indices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 667-88, October.
  11. S. Subramanian, 2005. "Headcount Poverty Comparisons," One Pager 18, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  12. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:9:y:2003:i:2:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Subramanian, Subbu, 2012. "The focus axiom and poverty: On the co-existence of precise language and ambiguous meaning in economic measurement," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 6(8), pages 1-21.
  2. Luc Christiaensen & Anthony Shorrocks, 2012. "Measuring poverty over time," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 137-143, June.
  3. Subramanian, Subbu, 2011. "The focus axiom and poverty: On the co-existence of precise language and ambiguous meaning in economic measurement," Economics Discussion Papers 2011-41, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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