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Understandings and misunderstandings of multidimensional poverty measurement

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  • Sabina Alkire

    ()

  • James Foster

Abstract

Multidimensional measures provide an alternative lens through which poverty may be viewed and understood. In recent work we have attempted to offer a practical approach to identifying the poor and measuring aggregate poverty (Alkire and Foster 2011). As this is quite a departure from traditional unidimensional and multidimensional poverty measurement – particularly with respect to the identification step – further elaboration may be warranted. In this paper we elucidate the strengths, limitations, and misunderstandings of multidimensional poverty measurement in order to clarify the debate and catalyse further research. We begin with general definitions of unidimensional and multidimensional methodologies for measuring poverty. We provide an intuitive description of our measurement approach, including a ‘dual cutoff’ identification step that views poverty as the state of being multiply deprived, and an aggregation step based on the traditional Foster Greer and Thorbecke (FGT) measures. We briefly discuss five characteristics of our methodology that are easily overlooked or mistaken and conclude with some brief remarks on the way forward.

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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: 289-314

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:9:y:2011:i:2:p:289-314

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

Related research

Keywords: Poverty measurement; Multidimensional poverty; Deprivation; FGT measures; Decomposability; Joint distribution; Axiom; I3; I32; D63; O1;

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References

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  1. Satya R. Chakravarty & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2003. "The Measurement of Social Exclusion," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 364, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Sabina Alkire & James Foster, 2010. "Designing the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI)," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-28, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  3. 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.
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  7. Walter Bossert & Satya R. Chakravarty & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2009. "Multidimensional poverty and material deprivation," Working Papers 129, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
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  9. Sabina Alkire, 2011. "Multidimensional Poverty and its Discontents," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp046, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  10. Gordon Anderson, 2008. "The empirical assessment of multidimensional welfare, inequality and poverty: Sample weighted multivariate generalizations of the Kolmogorov–Smirnov two sample tests for stochastic dominance," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 73-87, March.
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  13. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
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  15. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
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  17. 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).
  18. Gaston Yalonetzky, 2011. "Conditions for the Most Robust Poverty Comparisons Using the Alkire-Foster Family of Measures," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp044b, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  19. Ma. Casilda Lasso de la Vega, 2009. "Counting poverty orderings and deprivation curves," Working Papers 150, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Understandings and Misunderstandings of Multidimensional Poverty Measurement
    by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2011-12-06 18:34:55
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