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On measuring vulnerability to poverty

  • Indranil Dutta


  • James Foster
  • Ajit Mishra

There is a growing interest on dynamic and broader concepts of deprivation such as vulnerability, which takes in to account the destitution of individuals from future shocks. We use the framework of decision making under uncertainty to arrive at a new measure of vulnerability to poverty. We highlight the importance of current standard of living to better capture the notion of vulnerability. In conceptualizing the new class of measures of vulnerability we thus move beyond the standard expected poverty measures that is commonly found in the literature. We also axiomatically characterize the new class of measure and discuss some of its properties.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 37 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 743-761

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:37:y:2011:i:4:p:743-761
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  1. repec:clu:wpaper:0102-52 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 2000. "In Sickness and in Health: Risk Sharing within Households in Rural Ethiopia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 688-727, August.
  3. Menezes, C & Geiss, C & Tressler, J, 1980. "Increasing Downside Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 921-32, December.
  4. Ethan Ligon & Laura Schechter, 2003. "Measuring Vulnerability," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages C95-C102, March.
  5. Hoddinott, John & Quisumbing, Agnes, 2003. "Methods for microeconometric risk and vulnerability assessments," Social Protection Discussion Papers 29138, The World Bank.
  6. Basu, Kaushik & Nolen, Patrick, 2004. "Vulnerability, Unemployment and Poverty: A New Class of Measures, Its Axiomatic Properties and Application," Working Papers 04-07, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  7. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  8. Morduch, J., 1995. "Poverty and Vulnerability," Papers 477, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  9. Foster, James E, 1998. "Absolute versus Relative Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 335-41, May.
  10. Christiaensen, Luc. J. & Subbarao, Kalanidhi, 2004. "Toward an understanding of household vulnerability in rural Kenya," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3326, The World Bank.
  11. Cesar Calvo & Stefan Dercon, 2005. "Measuring Individual Vulnerability," Economics Series Working Papers 229, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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