Where did identification go?
Multidimensional measures provide an alternative lens through which poverty may be viewed and understood. In recent work we have attempted to offer a practical approach to identifying the poor and measuring aggregate poverty (Alkire and Foster 2011). As this is quite a departure from traditional unidimensional and multidimensional poverty measurement – particularly with respect to the identification step – further elaboration may be warranted. In this paper we elucidate the strengths, limitations, and misunderstandings of multidimensional poverty measurement in order to clarify the debate and catalyse further research. We begin with general definitions of unidimensional and multidimensional methodologies for measuring poverty. We provide an intuitive description of our measurement approach, including a ‘dual cutoff’ identification step that views poverty as the state of being multiply deprived, and an aggregation step based on the traditional Foster Greer and Thorbecke (FGT) measures. We briefly discuss five characteristics of our methodology that are easily overlooked or mistaken and conclude with some brief remarks on the way forward.
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Volume (Year): 9 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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References listed on IDEAS
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- James E. Foster & Sabina Alkire, 2011.
"Understandings and Misunderstandings of Multidimensional Poverty Measurement,"
2011-18, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
- Sabina Alkire & James Foster, 2011. "Understandings and misunderstandings of multidimensional poverty measurement," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 289-314, June.
- Sabina Alkire and James Foster, 2011. "Understandings and Misunderstandings of Multidimensional Poverty Measurement," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp043, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
- Sabina Alkire and Maria Emma Santos, 2010.
"Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries,"
OPHI Working Papers
ophiwp038, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
- Alkire, Sabina & Santos, María Emma, 2011. "Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 3, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
- Sabina Alkire & Maria Emma Santos, 2010. "Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-11, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
- Martin Ravallion, 2011.
"On multidimensional indices of poverty,"
Journal of Economic Inequality,
Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 235-248, June.
- Alkire, Sabina & Foster, James, 2011.
"Counting and multidimensional poverty measurement,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 476-487, August.
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