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Inter-country Comparisons of Poverty Based on a Capability Approach: An Empirical Exercise

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Author Info

  • Sanjay G. Reddy

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Barnard College, Columbia University)

  • Sujata Visaria

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Boston University)

  • Muhammad Asali

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Columbia University)

Abstract

We argue that inter-country comparisons of income poverty based on poverty lines uniformly reflecting the costs of the basic requirements of human beings are superior to the existing money-metric approaches. In this exercise, we implement a uniform approach to poverty assessment based on basic human capabilities for three countries: Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Vietnam. We compute standard errors of the resulting poverty estimates and compare the incidence of poverty across these three countries. The choice of approach affects both cardinal estimates and ordinal rankings of poverty across countries and over time. Meaningful and coherent inter-country poverty comparisons can be advanced through international co-ordination in survey design and in the construction of income poverty lines that uniformly reflect the costs of the basic requirements of human beings.

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File URL: http://www.ipc-undp.org/pub/IPCWorkingPaper27.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth in its series Working Papers with number 27.

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Length: 28
Date of creation: Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by UNDP - International Poverty Centre, August 2006, pages 1-28
Handle: RePEc:ipc:wpaper:27

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Keywords: Poverty; Inter-Country comparisons; Capability approach;

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Cited by:
  1. Camelia Minoiu & Sanjay Reddy, 2008. "Kernel Density Estimation Basedon Grouped Data," IMF Working Papers 08/183, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Stephan Klasen, 2009. "Levels and Trends in Absolute Poverty in the World: What we know and what we don’t," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 11, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  3. Alkire, Sabina, 2008. "Choosing Dimensions: The Capability Approach and Multidimensional Poverty," MPRA Paper 8862, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Daniel Gottlieb & Alexander Fruman, 2011. "A quality-index of poverty measures," Working Papers 239, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.

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