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Equity-regarding poverty measures: differences in needs and the role of equivalence scales

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  • Udo Ebert

Abstract

The paper investigates the definition of equity-regarding poverty measures when there are different household types in the population. It demonstrates the implications of a between-type regressive transfer principle for poverty measures, for the choice of poverty lines, and for the measurement of living standard. The role of equivalence scales, which are popular in empirical work on poverty measurement, is clarified.

Suggested Citation

  • Udo Ebert, 2010. "Equity-regarding poverty measures: differences in needs and the role of equivalence scales," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 301-322, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:43:y:2010:i:1:p:301-322
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Boyd H. Hunter & Steven Kennedy & Nicholas Biddle, 2004. "Indigenous and Other Australian Poverty: Revisiting the Importance of Equivalence Scales," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(251), pages 411-422, December.
    2. Atkinson, A B, 1992. "Measuring Poverty and Differences in Family Composition," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(233), pages 1-16, February.
    3. de Vos, Klaas & Zaidi, M Asghar, 1997. "Equivalence Scale Sensitivity of Poverty Statistics for the Member States of the European Community," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(3), pages 319-333, September.
    4. Ebert, Udo, 1997. "Social Welfare When Needs Differ: An Axiomatic Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(254), pages 233-244, May.
    5. Glewwe, Paul, 1991. "Household equivalence scales and the measurement of inequality : Transfers from the poor to the rich could decrease inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 211-216, March.
    6. Szulc, Adam, 1995. "Measurement of Poverty: Poland in the 1980s," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 41(2), pages 191-205, June.
    7. Udo Ebert & Patrick Moyes, 2003. "Equivalence Scales Reconsidered," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 319-343, January.
    8. Zheng, Buhong, 1997. " Aggregate Poverty Measures," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 123-162, June.
    9. Udo Ebert & Patrick Moyes, 2002. "A Simple Axiomatization of the Foster, Greer and Thorbecke Poverty Orderings," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(4), pages 455-473, October.
    10. Zheng, Buhong, 2000. " Poverty Orderings," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 427-466, September.
    11. Udo Ebert, 2004. "Social welfare, inequality, and poverty when needs differ," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 23(3), pages 415-448, December.
    12. Ooghe, Erwin & Lambert, Peter, 2006. "On bounded dominance criteria," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 15-30, July.
    13. Anthony Shorrocks, 2004. "Inequality and welfare evaluation of heterogeneous income distributions," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 2(3), pages 193-218, July.
    14. Hammond, Peter J., 1977. "Dual interpersonal comparisons of utility and the welfare economics of income distribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 51-71, February.
    15. Shorrocks, Anthony, 2004. "Inequality and Welfare Evaluation of Heterogeneous Income Distributions," WIDER Working Paper Series 001, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    16. Udo Ebert, 2000. "Equivalizing Incomes: A Normative Approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(6), pages 619-640, December.
    17. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-231, March.
    18. Udo Ebert, 2007. "Ethical inequality measures and the redistribution of income when needs differ," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 5(3), pages 263-278, December.
    19. Keen, Michael, 1992. "Needs and Targeting," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(410), pages 67-79, January.
    20. Donaldson, David & Pendakur, Krishna, 2004. "Equivalent-expenditure functions and expenditure-dependent equivalence scales," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 175-208, January.
    21. Ross Finnie & Arthur Sweetman, 2003. "Poverty dynamics: empirical evidence for Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(2), pages 291-325, May.
    22. Satya Ranjan Chakravarty, 1983. "Ethically Flexible Measures of Poverty," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(1), pages 74-85, February.
    23. Udo Ebert, 1999. "Using equivalent income of equivalent adults to rank income distributions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 16(2), pages 233-258.
    24. Udo Ebert, 2008. "Living Standard, Social Welfare, and the Redistribution of Income in a Heterogeneous Population," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(5), pages 873-889, October.
    25. Lars Osberg, 2000. "Poverty in Canada and the United States: measurement, trends, and implications," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 847-877, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Udo Ebert, 2011. "The redistribution of income when needs differ," Working Papers V-331-11, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2011.
    2. repec:old:wpaper:331 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:zbw:hohpro:331 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Elisabetta Santarelli, "undated". "A review of the literature on subjective poverty in Europe: a focus on data sources," Working Papers 118/13, Sapienza University of Rome, Metodi e modelli per l'economia, il territorio e la finanza MEMOTEF.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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