Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Does it Matter that we do not Agree on the Definition of Poverty? A Comparison of Four Approaches

Contents:

Author Info

  • Caterina Ruggeri Laderchi
  • Ruhi Saith
  • Frances Stewart

Abstract

While there is world-wide agreement on poverty reduction as an overriding goal of development policy, there is little agreement on the definition of poverty. Four approaches to the definition and measurement of poverty are reviewed in this paper: the monetary, capability, social exclusion and participatory approaches. The theoretical underpinnings of the various measures and problems of operationalizing them are pointed out. It is argued that each is a construction of reality, involving numerous judgements, which are often not transparent. The different methods have different implications for policy, and also, to the extent that they point to different people as being poor, for targeting. Empirical work in Peru and India shows that there is significant lack of overlap between the methods with, for example, nearly half the population identified as in poverty according to monetary poverty but not in capability poverty, and conversely. This confirms similar findings elsewhere. Hence, the definition of poverty does matter for poverty eradication strategies.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1360081032000111698
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 31 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 243-274

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:31:y:2003:i:3:p:243-274

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/CODS20

Order Information:
Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/CODS20

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  2. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001. "Growth is good for the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2587, The World Bank.
  3. John Micklewright, 2002. "Social exclusion and children: a European view for a US debate," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 6430, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Alkire, Sabina, 2005. "Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780199283316, October.
  5. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Why Have Some Indian States Done Better Than Others at Reducing Rural Poverty?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 17-38, February.
  6. Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975, October.
  7. Caterina Ruggeri Laderchi, . "The Monetary Approach to Poverty: A Survey of Concepts and Methods," QEH Working Papers qehwps58, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  8. Ravallion, M., 1998. "Poverty Lines in Theory and Practice," Papers, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement 133, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
  9. Miguel Székely & Nora Lustig & Martin Cumpa & José Antonio Mejía-Guerra, 2000. "Do We Know How Much Poverty There Is?," Research Department Publications 4239, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  10. Lipton, M., 1988. "The Poor And The Poorest," World Bank - Discussion Papers, World Bank 25, World Bank.
  11. Cornia, Giovanni Andrea & Jolly, Richard & Stewart, Frances (ed.), 1987. "Adjustment with a Human Face: Volume 1, Protecting the Vulnerable and Promoting Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286097, October.
  12. Caterina Ruggeri Laderchi, 1997. "Poverty and its many dimensions: The role of income as an indicator," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 345-360.
  13. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:31:y:2003:i:3:p:243-274. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.