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Monitoring Progress in Child Poverty Reduction: Methodological Insights and Illustration to the Case Study of Bangladesh

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  • Jose Manuel Roche

Abstract

Important steps have been taken at international summits to set up goals and targets to improve the wellbeing of children worldwide. Now the world also has more and better data to monitor progress. This paper presents a new approach to monitoring progress in child poverty reduction based on the Alkire and Foster adjusted headcount ratio and an array of complementary techniques. A theoretical discussion is accompanied by an assessment of child poverty reduction in Bangladesh based on four rounds of the Demographic Household Survey (1997-2007). Emphasis is given to dimensional monotonicity and decomposability as desirable properties of multidimensional poverty measures. Complementary techniques for analysing changes over time are also illustrated, including the Shapley decomposition of changes in overall poverty, as well as a range of robustness tests and statistical significance tests. The results from Bangladesh illustrate the value added of these new tools and the information they provide for policy. The analysis reveals two paths to multidimensional poverty reduction - either decreasing the incidence of poverty or its intensity - and exposes an uneven distribution of national gains across geographical divisions. The methodology allows an integrated analysis of overall changes yet simultaneously examines progress in each region and in each dimension, retaining the positive features of dashboard approaches. The empirical evidence highlights the need to move beyond the headcount ratio towards new measures of child poverty that reflect the intensity of poverty and multiple deprivations that affect poor children at the same time.

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Paper provided by Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford in its series OPHI Working Papers with number ophiwp057.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:qeh:ophiwp:ophiwp057

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  1. Francisco Ferreira, 2011. "Poverty is multidimensional. But what are we going to do about it?," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 493-495, September.
  2. Jean-Yves Duclos & David E. Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2006. "Robust Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 943-968, October.
  3. Keetie Roelen & Franziska Gassmann & Chris Neubourg, 2010. "Child Poverty in Vietnam: Providing Insights Using a Country-Specific and Multidimensional Model," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 98(1), pages 129-145, August.
  4. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
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  8. Sabina Alkire and Jose Manuel Roche, 2011. "Beyond Headcount: Measures that Reflect the Breadth and Components of Child Poverty," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp045, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  9. Sabina Alkire & Maria Emma Santos, 2010. "Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-11, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  10. Tania Burchardt & Polly Vizard, 2011. "'Operationalizing' the Capability Approach as a Basis for Equality and Human Rights Monitoring in Twenty-first-century Britain," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 91-119.
  11. Md. Shafiul Azam & Katsushi Imai, 2009. "Vulnerability and Poverty in Bangladesh," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0905, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  12. Jose Manuel Roche, 2008. "Monitoring Inequality among Social Groups: A Methodology Combining Fuzzy Set Theory and Principal Component Analysis," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 427-452.
  13. Juan Carlos Feres & Xavier Mancero, 2001. "El método de las necesidades básicas insatisfechas (NBI) y sus aplicaciones en América Latina," DOCUMENTOS DE INVESTIGACION 002525, CEPAL NACIONES UNIDAS.
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  16. Alkire, Sabina & Foster, James, 2011. "Counting and multidimensional poverty measurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 476-487, August.
  17. Koen DECANCQ & María Ana LUGO, 2010. "Weights in multidimensional indices of well-being: an overview," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces10.06, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  18. François Bourguignon & Satya Chakravarty, 2003. "The Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 25-49, April.
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  20. Mario Biggeri & Renato Libanora & Stefano Mariani & Leonardo Menchini, 2006. "Children Conceptualizing their Capabilities: Results of a Survey Conducted during the First Children's World Congress on Child Labour," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 59-83.
  21. Sabina Alkire & James Foster & Maria Santos, 2011. "Where did identification go?," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 501-505, September.
  22. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  23. Martha Nussbaum, 2003. "Capabilities As Fundamental Entitlements: Sen And Social Justice," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 33-59.
  24. Kai-yuen Tsui, 2002. "Multidimensional poverty indices," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 69-93.
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  26. Enrique Delamonica & Alberto Minujin, 2007. "Incidence, Depth and Severity of Children in Poverty," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 82(2), pages 361-374, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Agee, Mark D. & Crocker, Thomas D., 2013. "Operationalizing the capability approach to assessing well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 80-86.

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