Does it Matter that we do not Agree on the Definition of Poverty? A Comparison of Four Approaches
While there is world-wide agreement on poverty reduction as an overriding goal of development policy, there is little agreement on the definition of poverty. Four approaches to the definition and measurement of poverty are reviewed in this paper: the monetary, capability, social exclusion and participatory approaches. The theoretical underpinnings of the various measures and problems of operationalizing them are pointed out. It is argued that each is a construction of reality, involving numerous judgements, which are often not transparent. The different methods have different implications for policy, and also, to the extent that they point to different people as being poor, for targeting. Empirical work in Peru and India shows that there is significant lack of overlap between the methods with, for example, nearly half the population identified as in poverty according to monetary poverty but not in capability poverty, and conversely. This confirms similar findings elsewhere. Hence, the definition of poverty does matter for poverty eradication strategies.
Volume (Year): 31 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/CODS20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/CODS20|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cornia, Giovanni Andrea & Jolly, Richard & Stewart, Frances (ed.), 1987. "Adjustment with a Human Face: Volume 1, Protecting the Vulnerable and Promoting Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286097, April.
- John Micklewright, 2002.
"Social exclusion and children: a European view for a US debate,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
6430, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- John Micklewright, 2002. "Social Exclusion and Children: A European view for a US debate," CASE Papers case51, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
- John Micklewright, 2002. "Social Exclusion and Children: A European view for a US debate," Papers inwopa02/19, Innocenti Working Papers.
- Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
- Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001. "Growth is good for the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2587, The World Bank.
- Miguel Szekely & Nora Lustig & Martin Cumpa & Jose Antonio Mejia, 2004. "Do we know how much poverty there is?," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 523-558.
- Miguel Székely & Nora Lustig & Martin Cumpa & José Antonio Mejía-Guerra, 2000. "Do We Know How Much Poverty There Is?," Research Department Publications 4239, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Szekely, Miguel & Lustig, Nora & Cumpa, Martin & Antonio Mejia, Jose, 2000. "Do we know how much poverty there is?," Working Papers 244243, Inter-American Development Bank.
- Miguel Székely & Nora Lustig & Martin Cumpa & José Antonio Mejía-Guerra, 2000. "Do We Know How Much Poverty There Is?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6477, Inter-American Development Bank.
- Alkire, Sabina, 2005. "Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199283316, April.
- Alkire, Sabina, 2002. "Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199245796, April.
- Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
- Caterina Ruggeri Laderchi, "undated". "The Monetary Approach to Poverty: A Survey of Concepts and Methods," QEH Working Papers qehwps58, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
- Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975, April.
- Caterina Ruggeri Laderchi, 1997. "Poverty and its many dimensions: The role of income as an indicator," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 345-360.
- Lipton, M., 1988. "The Poor And The Poorest," World Bank - Discussion Papers 25, World Bank.
- Ravallion, M., 1998. "Poverty Lines in Theory and Practice," Papers 133, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
- Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-231, March.
- Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Why Have Some Indian States Done Better Than Others at Reducing Rural Poverty?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 17-38, February.
- Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Why have some Indian states done better than others at reducing rural poverty?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1594, The World Bank.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:31:y:2003:i:3:p:243-274. 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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.