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Social Groups and Economic Poverty: A Problem in Measurement

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  • Subramanian, S.
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    Abstract

    This paper points to some elementary conflicts between the claims of interpersonal and intergroup justice as they manifest themselves in the process of seeking a real-valued index of poverty which is required to satisfy certain seemingly desirable properties. It indicates how ?group-sensitive? poverty measures, similar to the Anand-Sen (1995) ?Gender Adjusted Human Development Index? and the Subramanian-Majumdar (2002) ?Group-Disparity Adjusted Deprivation Index?, may be constructed. Some properties of a specific ?group-sensitive? poverty index are appraised, and the advantage of having a ?flexible? measure which is capable of effecting a tradeoff between the claims of interpersonal and inter-group equality is spelt out. The implications of directly incorporating group disparities into the measurement of poverty for poverty comparisons and anti-poverty policy are also discussed.

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    File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/stc/repec/pdfs/rp2004/rp2004-59.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number UNU-WIDER Research Paper RP2004/59.

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    Length: 18 pages
    Date of creation: 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2004-59

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    Related research

    Keywords: poverty; measurement; social groups; symmetry; transfer; subgroup sensitivity;

    References

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    1. Michael Michael Keen, 1991. "Needs and Targeting," Working Papers 822, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
    3. Bourguignon, F. & Fields, G.S., 1990. "Poverty Measures and Anti-Poverty Policy," DELTA Working Papers 90-04, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    4. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-64, July.
    5. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
    6. Amiel, Yoram & Cowell, Frank, 1994. "Monotonicity, dominance and the Pareto principle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 447-450, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Chiappero-Martinetti, Enrica & Civardi, Marisa, 2006. "Measuring poverty within and between population subgroups," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-06, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.

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