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Poverty or preference: what do 'consensual deprivation indicators' really mean?

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  • Steve McKay

Abstract

Consensual deprivation indicators assume that there is a broad consensus on what goods/services families should be able to afford, and that an inability to afford those items can measure deprivation. Using data from two British surveys in 1999, this paper makes two arguments. First, there is only limited agreement about which items families should be able to afford. Secondly, different social groups are more (or less) likely to say the absence of a 'necessity' is due to choice. Families who cannot afford two or more 'necessities' invariably have a number of 'nonnecessities', often many. Their patterns of preferences (and spending) are not typical and they are choosing to buy other goods - through preference rather than poverty. Simply checking whether people lack items for any reason provides results empirically as reliable, but subject to similar criticisms.

Suggested Citation

  • Steve McKay, 2004. "Poverty or preference: what do 'consensual deprivation indicators' really mean?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(2), pages 201-223, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:25:y:2004:i:2:p:201-223
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Vincent A. Hildebrand & María Noel Pi Alperin & Philippe Van Kerm, 2017. "Measuring and Accounting for the Deprivation Gap of Portuguese Immigrants in Luxembourg," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 63(2), pages 288-309, June.
    2. Lin Yang, 2017. "The relationship between poverty and inequality: Concepts and measurement," CASE Papers /205, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    3. repec:eee:aumajo:v:19:y:2011:i:3:p:203-211 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:cpn:umkeip:v:16:y:2017:i:2:p:201-217 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Mary Breheny & Christine Stephens & Fiona Alpass & Brendan Stevenson & Kristie Carter & Polly Yeung, 2013. "Development and Validation of a Measure of Living Standards for Older People," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(3), pages 1035-1048, December.
    6. Morciano, Marcello & Hancock, Ruth & Pudney, Stephen, 2012. "Disability costs and equivalence scales in the older population," ISER Working Paper Series 2012-09, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    7. Morag Treanor, 2014. "Deprived or not deprived? Comparing the measured extent of material deprivation using the UK government’s and the Poverty and Social Exclusion surveys’ method of calculating material deprivation," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 1337-1346, May.
    8. Paul Dickes & Alessio Fusco & Eric Marlier, 2010. "Structure of National Perceptions of Social Needs Across EU Countries," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 143-167, January.
    9. Bertrand Maître & Brian Nolan & Christopher T. Whelan, 2013. "A Critical Evaluation of the EU 2020 Poverty and Social Exclusion Target: An Analysis of EU-SILC 2009," Working Papers 201309, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    10. Oznur Ozdamar & Eleftherios Giovanis, 2016. "The Link between Health Condition Costs and Standard of Living: A Structural Equation Modelling," Working Papers 1060, Economic Research Forum, revised 11 Jan 2016.
    11. Christopher T. Whelan & Mario Lucchini & Maurizio Pisati & Maitre, Bertrand, 2009. "Understanding the Socio-Economic Distribution and Consequences of Patterns of Multiple Deprivation: An Application of Self-Organising Maps," Papers WP302, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    12. Wojtek Tomaszewski & Francisco Perales, 2014. "Who Settles for Less? Subjective Dispositions, Objective Circumstances, and Housing Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 118(1), pages 181-203, August.
    13. Rod Hick, 2012. "On 'Consistent' Poverty," CASE Papers case167, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    14. Katie Bates & Laura Lane & Anne Power & Nicola Serle, 2013. "CASE Annual Report 2012," CASE Reports casereport76, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    15. Jacques Silber, 2011. "A comment on the MPI index," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(3), pages 479-481, September.
    16. Hick, Rod, 2012. "On ‘consistent’ poverty," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51285, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. Timo-Kolja Pfoertner & Hans-Juergen Andress & Christian Janssen, 2011. "Income or living standard and health in Germany: different ways of measurement of relative poverty with regard to self-rated health," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 56(4), pages 373-384, August.
    18. Geranda Notten, 2016. "How Poverty Indicators Confound Poverty Reduction Evaluations: The Targeting Performance of Income Transfers in Europe," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 1039-1056, July.
    19. Rod Hick, 2014. "On ‘Consistent’ Poverty," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 1087-1102, September.
    20. Bertrand Maitre & Brian Nolan & Christopher Whelan, 2013. "GINI DP 79: A Critical Evaluation of the EU 2020 Poverty and Social Exclusion Target: An Analysis of EU-SILC 2009," GINI Discussion Papers 79, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.

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    Keywords

    poverty; deprivation indicators;

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