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Population Growth and Poverty Measurement

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Author Info

  • Chakravarty, Satya R.
  • Kanbur, Ravi
  • Mukherjee, Diganta

Abstract

If the absolute number of poor people goes up, but the fraction of people in poverty comes down, has poverty gone up or gone down? The economist’s instinct, framed by population replication axioms that undergird standard measures of poverty, is to say that in this case poverty has gone down. But this goes against the instinct of those who work directly with the poor, for whom the absolute numbers notion makes more sense as they cope with more poor on the streets or in the soup kitchens. This paper attempts to put these two conceptions of poverty into a common framework. Specifically, it presents an axiomatic development of a family of poverty measures without a population replication axiom. This family has an intuitive link to standard measures, but it also allows one or other of “the absolute numbers” or the “fraction in poverty” conception to be given greater weight by the choice of relevant parameters. We hope that this family will prove useful in empirical and policy work where it is important to give both views of poverty—the economist’s and the practitioner’s—their due.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management in its series Working Papers with number 127303.

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Date of creation: Jul 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:127303

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Keywords: Food Security and Poverty;

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References

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  1. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  2. Broome, John, 1996. "The Welfare Economics of Population," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 177-93, April.
  3. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1995. "Revisiting the Sen Poverty Index," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(5), pages 1225-30, September.
  4. Blakorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1980. "Ethical Indices for the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 1053-60, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Anthony B. Atkinson & Andrea Brandolini, 2009. "On analysing the world distribution of income," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 701, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  2. Hassoun, Nicole & Subramanian, S., 2012. "An aspect of variable population poverty comparisons," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 238-241.
  3. Diganta Mukherjee, 2008. "Poverty measures incorporating variable rate of alleviation due to population growth," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 97-107, June.
  4. Lucio Esposito & Francesca Majorano, 2011. "What principles should inform poverty indices? Insights from a cross-country survey," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 387-420, October.
  5. Haider A. Khan, 2004. "On Mortality and Poverty: An Axiomatic Approach With A Modified Index," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-281, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  6. Subramanian, S., 2004. "Indicators of Inequality and Poverty," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  7. Claudio Zoli, 2009. "Variable population welfare and poverty orderings satisfying replication properties," Working Papers 69/2009, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  8. Julia Paxton, 2003. "A poverty outreach index and its application to microfinance," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 9(2), pages 1-10.
  9. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:9:y:2003:i:2:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. James Foster & Joel Greer & Erik Thorbecke, 2010. "The Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT) Poverty Measures: Twenty-Five Years Later," Working Papers 2010-14, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.

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