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Pobreza relativa y absoluta. El caso de México (1992-2004)


  • Ruiz-Castillo, Javier

    (Universidad Carlos III, Madrid)


This paper advocates that although an absolute notion of poverty should remain an essential ingredient in the evaluation of the standard of living in developing and transition economies, it is time that relative poverty begins to be systematically estimated for those same economies. This prescription is applied to Mexico for the 1992-2004 period, where the Fox Administration had officially determined for the first time an absolute poverty line for 2000. As in the Second European Poverty Programme at the end of the 1980s, the relative poverty line is fixed at 50% of mean equivalent expenditures. Absolute and relative poverty behave in opposite ways during the 1992-2000 business cycle, but both decline significantly during the 2000-2004 stagnation period. Relative poverty is above absolute poverty from 1992 to 1994, below it during 1996-1998, and above it again in 2000-2004. In any case, relative poverty in Mexico is well above relative poverty in developed countries.// Este artículo defiende que aunque la noción de pobreza absoluta aún debe ser un ingrediente esencial en la evaluación de la calidad de vida de los países en desarrollo y en transición, es hora de que la pobreza relativa comience a ser sistemáticamente estimada para esos mismos países. Esta recomendación se aplica a México durante el período 1992-2004, cuando en 2000 el gobierno de Fox determinó oficialmente por primera vez una línea de pobreza absoluta. Como en el Segundo Programa Europeo de Pobreza a fines de los años ochenta, la línea de pobreza relativa se fija en 50% de la media del gasto equivalente. Las pobrezas absoluta y la relativa se comportan de maneras opuestas durante el ciclo 1992-2000, pero ambas descienden significativamente durante el período de estancamiento 2000-2004. La pobreza relativa es mayor que la absoluta desde 1992 a 1994, menor durante 1996-1998, y mayor de nuevo en 2000-2004. En cualquier caso, la pobreza relativa en México es mucho mayor que la pobreza relativa en los países desarrollados.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2009. "Pobreza relativa y absoluta. El caso de México (1992-2004)," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(301), pages 67-99, enero-mar.
  • Handle: RePEc:elt:journl:v:76:y:2009:i:301:p:67-99

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    absolute poverty; relative poverty; poverty in Mexico; pobreza absoluta; pobreza relativa; pobreza en México;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean


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