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A Dual-Regime Utility Model for Poverty Analysis

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  • Claudia Biancotti

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

This paper offers a micro-founded general definition of poverty set in the context of utility theory. Poverty and non-poverty are described as two structurally different types of local non-satiation: the former entails a strong need for further consumption and social marginalization, the latter is characterized by a weak need for further consumption and satisfactory adjustment to social expectations. Each of the states can be fully described by a separate technology of utility production. The model is tested on data from the Bank of ItalyÂ’s Survey of Household Income and Wealth; an indicator of self-reported economic satisfaction is regressed on yearly consumption of food and non-food commodities. The predictions of the model are confirmed in the case of food consumption, signalling the existence of physiological minima that are uniformly perceived by individuals. For non-food commodities, no significant change of regimes is found: welfare appears to be connected with needs that are less exposed to structural variation, possibly because they are not as urgent or objective as food-related ones.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 603.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_603_06

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Keywords: Poverty;

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  1. A. Atkinson, 2003. "Multidimensional Deprivation: Contrasting Social Welfare and Counting Approaches," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 51-65, April.
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  12. Claudia Biancotti & Giovanni D'Alessio & Andrea Neri, 2008. "Measurement Error In The Bank Of Italy'S Survey Of Household Income And Wealth," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(3), pages 466-493, 09.
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  15. Alois Stutzer, . "The Role of Income Aspirations in Individual Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 124, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  16. Garner, Thesia I & de Vos, Klaas, 1995. "Income Sufficiency v. Poverty: Results from the United States and the Netherlands," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 117-34, May.
  17. Anthony B. Atkinson & Eric Marlier & Brian Nolan, 2004. "Indicators and Targets for Social Inclusion in the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 47-75, 02.
  18. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Giuseppe Ferrero & Andrea Nobili & Patrizia Passiglia, 2007. "The sectoral distribution of money supply in the Euro area," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 627, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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