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Counting and multidimensional poverty measurement

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  • Alkire, Sabina
  • Foster, James

Abstract

This paper proposes a new methodology for multidimensional poverty measurement consisting of an identification method ρk that extends the traditional intersection and union approaches, and a class of poverty measures Mα. Our identification step employs two forms of cutoff: one within each dimension to determine whether a person is deprived in that dimension, and a second across dimensions that identifies the poor by ‘counting’ the dimensions in which a person is deprived. The aggregation step employs the FGT measures, appropriately adjusted to account for multidimensionality. The axioms are presented as joint restrictions on identification and the measures, and the methodology satisfies a range of desirable properties including decomposability. The identification method is particularly well suited for use with ordinal data, as is the first of our measures, the adjusted headcount ratio M0. We present some dominance results and an interpretation of the adjusted headcount ratio as a measure of unfreedom. Examples from the US and Indonesia illustrate our methodology.

Suggested Citation

  • Alkire, Sabina & Foster, James, 2011. "Counting and multidimensional poverty measurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 476-487.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:7:p:476-487
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2010.11.006
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multidimensional poverty measurement; Capability approach; Identification; FGT measures; Decomposability; Ordinal variables;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government

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