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Mesurer la pauvreté multidimensionnelle : les limites


  • Sabina Alkire


More data on non-income dimensions of poverty are available than at any previous time in history. Alongside this, multidimensional measurement methodologies have advanced considerably in the past fifteen years. These advances together have created new possibilities to measure multidimensional poverty at the local, national and international level. Yet the fact that one can construct an overall measure does not mean that it will necessarily add value. Considering multiple dimensions does not require necessarily a multidimensional poverty index. This paper focuses on the question of when, how and why certain multidimensional poverty measures may add value, sketch the limits of the contribution, and introduce a set of standing questions. The key value-added of a rigorously implemented multidimensional poverty index is that it conveys additional information not captured in single-dimensional measures on the joint distribution of disadvantage and the composition of poverty among different multiply deprived groups. It also provides a consistent account of the overall change in multidimensional poverty across time and space. To makes this case and explore these issues, the paper discusses one general approach to multidimensional poverty measurement—that which reflects joint distribution. It then presents one class of poverty measures within this approach. It also introduces one recent implementation of one measure within this family: the new 104-country Multidimensional Poverty Index launched in 2010. Pointing to the added value or multidimensional poverty indexes this is not to suggest that single-dimensional measures be abandoned but rather supplemented. Investing further in multidimensional measures has the potential to generate significant advances in understanding and useful policy tools.

Suggested Citation

  • Sabina Alkire, 2011. "Mesurer la pauvreté multidimensionnelle : les limites," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 19(2), pages 61-104.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:edddbu:edd_252_0061

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    Cited by:

    1. Konde, Konde, 2016. "Analyse de la pauvreté multidimensionnelle en République Démocratique du Congo : une approche non monétaire par les capabilités
      [Analysis of multidimensional poverty in Democratic Republic of Congo
      ," MPRA Paper 74993, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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