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Robust Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons

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  • Jean-Yves Duclos
  • David E. Sahn
  • Stephen D. Younger

Abstract

We demonstrate how to make poverty comparisons using multidimensional indicators of well-being, showing in particular how to check whether the comparisons are robust to aggregation procedures and to the choice of multidimensional poverty lines. In contrast to earlier work, our methodology applies equally well to what can be defined as 'union', 'intersection' or 'intermediate' approaches to dealing with multidimensional indicators of well-being. To make this procedure of some practical usefulness, the article also derives the sampling distribution of various multidimensional poverty estimators, including estimators of the 'critical' poverty frontiers outside which multidimensional poverty comparisons can no longer be deemed ethically robust. The results are illustrated using data from a number of developing countries. Copyright 2006 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:116:y:2006:i:514:p:943-968
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jenkins, Stephen P & Lambert, Peter J, 1993. "Ranking Income Distributions When Needs Differ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(4), pages 337-356, December.
    2. Sahn, David E. & Stifel, David C., 2000. "Poverty Comparisons Over Time and Across Countries in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2123-2155, December.
    3. Chambaz, Christine & Maurin, Eric, 1998. "Atkinson and Bourguignon's Dominance Criteria: Extended and Applied to the Measurement of Poverty in France," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(4), pages 497-513, December.
    4. Margaret E. Grosh & Paul Glewwe, 1998. "Data Watch: The World Bank's Living Standards Measurement Study Household Surveys," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 187-196, Winter.
    5. Russell Davidson & Jean-Yves Duclos, 2000. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1435-1464, November.
    6. Bourguignon, Francois & Fields, Gary, 1997. "Discontinuous losses from poverty, generalized P[alpha] measures, and optimal transfers to the poor," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 155-175, January.
    7. Fishburn, Peter C. & Willig, Robert D., 1984. "Transfer principles in income redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 323-328, December.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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