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The Sensitivity of International Poverty Comparisons

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  • Blackburn, McKinley L

Abstract

Using data from the Luxembourg Income Study, the author studies the sensitivity of cross-national income poverty comparisons to the method in which poverty is measured. Absolute poverty comparisons that keep the purchasing power at the poverty line constant across countries lead to conclusions that differ from relative poverty comparisons in which the real value of the poverty line varies with average income. The absolute poverty ranking of countries also varies as the real value of the poverty line is lowered. Cross-national differences in household characteristics are largely irrelevant in explaining poverty differences. Copyright 1998 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Blackburn, McKinley L, 1998. "The Sensitivity of International Poverty Comparisons," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(4), pages 449-472, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:44:y:1998:i:4:p:449-72
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    Cited by:

    1. Atkinson, A.B. & Bourguignon, Francois & O'Donoghue, Cathal & Sutherland, Holly & Utili, F., 1999. "Microsimulation and the formulation of policy: a case study of targeting in the European Union," EUROMOD Working Papers EM2/99, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Miguel Szekely & Nora Lustig & Martin Cumpa & Jose Antonio Mejia, 2004. "Do we know how much poverty there is?," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 523-558.
    3. Maitra, Pushkar & Ray, Ranjan, 2003. "The effect of transfers on household expenditure patterns and poverty in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 23-49, June.
    4. Miguel Székely & Nora Lustig & Martin Cumpa & José Antonio Mejía-Guerra, 2000. "Do We Know How Much Poverty There Is?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1334, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. Miles Corak, 2005. "Principles and Practicalities for Measuring Child Poverty in Rich Countries," LIS Working papers 406, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    6. Dekkers, gijs, 1999. "The future development of living standards of the retirees in Belgium. [:] an application of the static microsimulation model station," MPRA Paper 36005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Sarel van der Walt, 2004. "A Multidimensional Analysis of Poverty in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa," Working Papers 03/2004, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    8. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 2001. "Cross-country comparisons of pensioners’ incomes," MPRA Paper 16345, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Whitehouse, Edward, 2000. "How poor are the old? a survey of evidence from 44 countries," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 23141, The World Bank.
    10. World Bank Group, 2015. "A Measured Approach to Ending Poverty and Boosting Shared Prosperity : Concepts, Data, and the Twin Goals," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 20384.
    11. Corak, Miles, 2005. "Principles and Practicalities for Measuring Child Poverty in the Rich Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 1579, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Miguel Székely & Nora Lustig & Martin Cumpa & José Antonio Mejía-Guerra, 2000. "¿Sabemos qué tanta pobreza hay?," Research Department Publications 4240, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    13. Sutherland, Holly & Immervoll, Herwig & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 1999. "An introduction to EUROMOD," EUROMOD Working Papers EM0/99, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.

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