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Estimating the Middle Class in Pakistan

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  • Durr-e-Nayab

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad)

Abstract

The middle class is primarily an urban phenomenon generally associated with professional occupations, service sector and salaried jobs. Yet despite a general acceptance of the important economic, political and social role that the middle class plays in society, the term itself remains ambiguous and arbitrary. In much of recent literature the middle class is equated with middle income which does not reflect what „class? refers to in classical writings. The present paper takes a multidimensional approach to measure the middle class in Pakistan through a weighted composite index that takes into account all possible factors associated with the concept, including income, occupation, education, housing and lifestyle. Using the Pakistan Social and Living Measurement Survey (PSLM) 2007-08, the magnitude of the middle class in the country, as represented by the „expanded middle class?, is estimated at around 35 percent of the total population. The proposed measure of the middle class has a sense of stability attached to it, making it less susceptible to sudden inflationary shocks than an income-based measure.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in its journal The Pakistan Development Review.

Volume (Year): 50 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-28

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Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:50:y:2011:i:1:p:1-28

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Keywords: Pakistan; Middle Class; Multidimensional;

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  1. Chiara GIGLIARANO & Karl MOSLER, 2009. "Measuring middle-class decline in one and many attributes," Working Papers 333, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  2. Singh, Nirvikar, 2005. "The Idea of South Asia and the Role of the Middle Class," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3868p628, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  3. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
  4. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther, 2007. "What is Middle Class about the Middle Classes Around the World?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6613, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Andrea Brandolini & Silvia Magri & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2010. "Asset-based measurement of poverty," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 267-284.
  6. Michal Brzezinski, 2010. "Income Affluence in Poland," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 285-299, November.
  7. Easterly, William, 2000. "the middle class consensus and economic development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2346, The World Bank.
  8. Anthony B. Atkinson & Andrea Brandolini, 2011. "On the identification of the “middle class”," Working Papers 217, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  9. François Bourguignon & Satya Chakravarty, 2003. "The Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 25-49, April.
  10. Chun, Natalie, 2010. "Middle Class Size in the Past, Present, and Future: A Description of Trends in Asia," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 217, Asian Development Bank.
  11. Peichl, Andreas & Schaefer, Thilo & Scheicher, Christoph, 2008. "Measuring Richness and Poverty: A Micro Data Application to Europe and Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3790, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1977. "Multidimensional Egalitarianisms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-13, February.
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Cited by:
  1. G. M. Arif & Shujaat Farooq, 2012. "Poverty Reduction in Pakistan: Learning from the Experience of China," PIDE Monograph Series 2012:5, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  2. Lukas Schlogl & Andy Sumner, 2014. "How Middle Class are the ‘Emerging Middle’ or ‘Scooter Class’ in Indonesia? A Household Asset Approach to Social Stratification," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 201407, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised May 2014.
  3. repec:pid:wpaper:2012:5 is not listed on IDEAS

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