Exploring the absolutist vs relativist perception of poverty using a cross-country questionnaire survey
Questionnaires eliciting the absolutist vs relativist perception of poverty are administered to 1941 undergraduate students in eight countries - Bolivia, Brazil, Italy, Kenya, Laos, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. We find that the perception of poverty expressed by a large fraction of respondents exhibits both absolutist and relativist concerns, with the former components prevailing over the latter. High-income countries exhibit a significantly more pronounced relativist attitude. Personal characteristics such as past experience of material hardship and relative standard of living play a germane role in shaping respondents' views.
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