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Polarization Of The Poor: Multivariate Relative Poverty Measurement Sans Frontiers

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  • Gordon Anderson

Abstract

A major impediment to poverty evaluation in environments with a multiplicity of wellbeing indicators is the difficulty associated with formulating a poverty frontier in many dimensions. This paper proposes two multivariate relative polarization measures which, in appropriate circumstances, serve as multivariate poverty measures which do not require computation of a poverty frontier. As poverty measures they have the intuitive appeal of reflecting the degree to which poor and non-poor societies are polarized. (The measures would also have considerable application in studying multivariate convergence issues in economic growth models.) The measures are exemplified in a poor-non-poor country study over the period 1990-2005, based upon the joint distribution of per capita GNP and Life Expectancy. The results suggest that as a group, the world's poor are experiencing diminished poverty polarization; however, within the world's poor the African nations are experiencing increased poverty polarization. Copyright 2009 The Author. Journal compilation International Association for Research in Income and Wealth 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Gordon Anderson, 2010. "Polarization Of The Poor: Multivariate Relative Poverty Measurement Sans Frontiers," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(1), pages 84-101, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:56:y:2010:i:1:p:84-101
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2004. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1737-1772, November.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
    3. Wang, You-Qiang & Tsui, Kai-Yuen, 2000. " Polarization Orderings and New Classes of Polarization Indices," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(3), pages 349-363.
    4. 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.
    5. Gordon Anderson, 2008. "The empirical assessment of multidimensional welfare, inequality and poverty: Sample weighted multivariate generalizations of the Kolmogorov–Smirnov two sample tests for stochastic dominance," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 6(1), pages 73-87, March.
    6. Gordon Anderson & Oliver Linton & Yoon-Jae Wang, 2009. "Non Parametric Estimation of a Polarization Measure," Working Papers tecipa-363, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    7. Sen, Amartya, 1983. "Poor, Relatively Speaking," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 153-169, July.
    8. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
    9. X. Zhang & R. Kanbur, 2001. "What Difference Do Polarisation Measures Make? An Application to China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 85-98.
    10. Jean-Yves Duclos & David Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2006. "Robust Multidimensional Spatial Poverty Comparisons in Ghana, Madagascar, and Uganda," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 91-113.
    11. Zheng, Buhong, 1997. " Aggregate Poverty Measures," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 123-162, June.
    12. Jean-Yves Duclos & David Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2006. "Robust Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons with Discrete Indicators of Well-being," Cahiers de recherche 0628, CIRPEE.
    13. Chiara Gigliarano & Karl Mosler, 2009. "Constructing indices of multivariate polarization," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 7(4), pages 435-460, December.
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    1. repec:gam:jecnmx:v:6:y:2018:i:2:p:15-:d:137411 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Anderson, Gordon & Linton, Oliver & Whang, Yoon-Jae, 2012. "Nonparametric estimation and inference about the overlap of two distributions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 171(1), pages 1-23.
    3. Anderson, Gordon & Farcomeni, Alessio & Pittau, Maria Grazia & Zelli, Roberto, 2016. "A new approach to measuring and studying the characteristics of class membership: Examining poverty, inequality and polarization in urban China," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 191(2), pages 348-359.
    4. Gordon Anderson & Maria Grazia Pittau & Roberto Zelli, 2016. "Assessing the convergence and mobility of nations without artificially specified class boundaries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 283-304, September.

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