Vague language and precise measurement: the case of poverty
Economists have often attempted precise measurement of phenomena which involve vague predicates. Difficulties emerge in such attempts if vagueness is not explicitly acknowledged at the methodological level. In this paper, various accounts of vague concepts are used to think about the economics of poverty measurement. Approaches to dealing with vagueness in this context tend to involve 'epistemic' and 'fuzzy set theoretic' approaches. Indeed, only the fuzzy set theoretic literature takes on vagueness explicitly. It is argued that both these approaches encounter significant difficulties, and that fuzzy set theoretic measures are hard to interpret intuitively. A 'supervaluationist' approach to the vagueness of poverty is developed. It is argued that this approach has much to recommend it and that some fuzzy measures can be interpreted intuitively as measures of vulnerability on this account.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 10 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RJEC20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/RJEC20|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:10:y:2001:i:1:p:41-58. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.