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On multidimensional indices of poverty

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  • Martin Ravallion

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Abstract

There has been a growing interest in what have come to be termed"multidimensional indices of poverty."Advocates for these new indices correctly point out that command over market goods is not all that matters to peoples'well-being, and that other factors need to be considered when quantifying the extent of poverty and informing policy making for fighting poverty. However, the author argues that there are two poorly understood issues in assessing these indices. First, does one believe that any single index can ever be a sufficient statistic for poverty assessments? Second, when aggregation is called for, should it be done in the space of"attainments,"using prices when appropriate, or that of"deprivations,"using weights set by the analyst? The paper argues that the goal for future poverty monitoring efforts should be to develop a credible set of multiple indices, spanning the dimensions of poverty most relevant to a specific setting, rather than a single multidimensional index. When weights are needed, they shouldn't be set solely by an analyst measuring poverty. Rather, they should be, as much as possible, consistent with well-informed choices made by poor people.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal The Journal of Economic Inequality.

Volume (Year): 9 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 235-248

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:9:y:2011:i:2:p:235-248

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Web page: http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=111137

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Keywords: Poverty measurement; Multidimensional index; Aggregation; Prices;

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References

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  1. Bourguignon, F. & Chakravarty, S.R., 1998. "The Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty," DELTA Working Papers 98-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2002. "Rich and powerful? Subjective power and welfare in Russia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2854, The World Bank.
  3. Sabina Alkire & Maria Emma Santos, 2010. "Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-11, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  4. Atkinson, Anthony B & Bourguignon, Francois, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201, April.
  5. Jean-Yves Duclos & David Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2005. "Robust Multidimensional Spatial Poverty Comparisons in Ghana, Madagascar, and Uganda," Cahiers de recherche 0528, CIRPEE.
  6. Alkire, Sabina & Foster, James, 2011. "Counting and multidimensional poverty measurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 476-487, August.
  7. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-64, July.
  8. Jean-Yves Duclos & David E. Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2006. "Robust Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 943-968, October.
  9. Jean-Yves Duclos & David Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2006. "Robust Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons with Discrete Indicators of Well-being," Cahiers de recherche 0628, CIRPEE.
  10. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  11. Chakravarty, Satya R. & Deutsch, Joseph & Silber, Jacques, 2008. "On the Watts Multidimensional Poverty Index and its Decomposition," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1067-1077, June.
  12. Kai-yuen Tsui, 2002. "Multidimensional poverty indices," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 69-93.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jean-Yves DUCLOS & Abdelkrim ARAAR & Luca TIBERTI, 2014. "Multidimensional poverty targeting," Working Papers P102, FERDI.
  2. James Foster & Sabina Alkire & Maria Emma Santos, 2011. "Where Did Identification Go?," Working Papers 2011-20, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  3. Florent Bresson & Jean-Yves Duclos, 2012. "Intertemporal Poverty Comparisons," Cahiers de recherche 1240, CIRPEE.
  4. Luigi Fabbris, Irene Sguotti, 2013. "Measuring Chronic Poverty In Italy," RIEDS - Rivista Italiana di Economia, Demografia e Statistica - Italian Review of Economics, Demography and Statistics, SIEDS Societa' Italiana di Economia Demografia e Statistica, vol. 0(2), pages 99-122, April-Jun.
  5. Agbodji, Akoete Ega & Batana, Yele Maweki & Ouedraogo, Denis, 2013. "Gender inequality in multidimensional welfare deprivation in west Africa : the case of Burkina Faso and Togo," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6522, The World Bank.
  6. Jose Manuel Roche, 2013. "Monitoring Progress in Child Poverty Reduction: Methodological Insights and Illustration to the Case Study of Bangladesh," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp057, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  7. Francisco Ferreira, 2011. "Poverty is multidimensional. But what are we going to do about it?," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 493-495, September.
  8. David Roodman, 2011. "Composite indices," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 483-484, September.
  9. Sabina Alkire and Maria Emma Santos, 2013. "Measuring Acute Poverty in the Developing World: Robustness and Scope of the Multidimensional Poverty Index," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp059, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  10. Ravallion, Martin, 2012. "Troubling tradeoffs in the Human Development Index," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 201-209.
  11. World Bank, 2013. "Burkina Faso : Non-Monetary Poverty and Gender Inequalities, 1993-2010 Trends," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15992, The World Bank.
  12. Erik Thorbecke, 2011. "A comment on multidimensional poverty indices," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 485-487, September.
  13. Christopher Whelan & Brian Nolan & Bertrand Maitre, 2012. "GINI DP 40: Multidimensional Poverty Measurement in Europe: An Application of the Adjusted Headcount Approach," GINI Discussion Papers 40, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  14. Martin Ravallion, 2011. "The human development index: a response to Klugman, Rodriguez and Choi," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 475-478, September.
  15. Maria Santos, 2013. "Tracking Poverty Reduction in Bhutan: Income Deprivation Alongside Deprivation in Other Sources of Happiness," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 112(2), pages 259-290, June.
  16. Jean-Yves DUCLOS & Abdelkrim ARAAR & Luca TIBERTI, 2014. "Multidimensional poverty targeting," Working Papers P102, FERDI.
  17. Jacques Silber, 2011. "A comment on the MPI index," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 479-481, September.
  18. Nancy Birdsall, 2011. "Comment on multi-dimensional indices," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 489-491, September.
  19. Jean-Yves Duclos & Luca Tiberti & Abdelkrim Araar, 2013. "Multidimensional Poverty Targeting," Cahiers de recherche 1339, CIRPEE.

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