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Rebuilding Babel: finding common development solutions using cross-contextual comparisons of multidimensional well-being

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  • James R. Hull

    (Brown University)

  • Gilvan Guedes

    (Vale do Rio Doce University)

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    Abstract

    We build on the theoretical tradition of livelihood strategies and capital portfolios to empirically assess wellbeing among rural households, but with an eye to comparison across contexts. First, we estimate a multidimensional measure of poverty based on fuzzy logic, for two rural frontiers: Nang Rong, Thailand and Altamira, Brazil. To enable cross-contextual comparison, we calculate a second estimate using a subset of shared measures. We find that the pattern of response over the range of many key variables – for example education, income, and demographic dependency ratio – is robust to model specification, suggesting that comparative generalizations, useful in formulating cost-effective policy interventions across contexts, could be satisfactorily identified in many instances. More generally, our approach provides researchers and policymakers with a framework for understanding the interaction of context and the subjective construction of wellbeing that is useful for distinguishing stable corollaries of poverty from those that are volatile across contexts.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in its series Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG with number td452.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:cdp:texdis:td452

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    Related research

    Keywords: Multidimensional poverty; Amazonia; Thailand; Cross-site comparison; Grade of Membership.;

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    References

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    1. Bibi, Sami, 2005. "Measuring Poverty in a Multidimensional Perspective: a Review of Literature," Working Papers PMMA, PEP-PMMA 2005-07, PEP-PMMA.
    2. 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.
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