Do we know how much poverty there is?
This paper tests the sensitivity of poverty indexes to the choice of adult equivalence scales, assumptions about the existence of economies of scale in consumption, methods for treating missing and zero incomes, and different adjustments to handle income misreporting. The sensitivity analysis is applied to household survey data from 17 Latin American countries, which include 92% of the population in the region. By varying these parameters within reasonable boundaries we found that the proportion of poor could be said to be either 20% or 66%. Furthermore, the ranking of countries with respect to poverty is highly sensitive to the underlying choices for poverty measurement. We also perform sensitivity analysis to the use of different poverty lines and poverty indexes, which are issues that have been explored much more in the literature. Even after considering these elements, the most sensitive choice appears to be the method used to adjust for misreporting. These findings point, first, to the need to be explicit about the underlying assumptions behind poverty statistics, second, to the need to perform sensitivity analysis when estimating levels and trends in poverty, and third, to the importance of establishing a set of conventions that would be accepted as “best practices” in estimating poverty indexes.
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): 32 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
|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.:
- Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-764, July.
- Psacharopoulos, G. & Morley, S. & Fiszbein, A. & Lee, H. & Wood, B., 1997. "Poverty and Income Distribution in Latin America: The Story of the 1980s," Papers 351, World Bank - Technical Papers.
- Juan Luis Londoño & Miguel Székely, 2000. "Persistent Poverty and Excess Inequality: Latin America, 1970-1995," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 3, pages 93-134, May.
- Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1995. "Revisiting the Sen Poverty Index," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(5), pages 1225-1230, September.
- Duclos, Jean-Yves & Mercarder-Prats, Magda, 1996.
"Household Needs and Poverty: with Application to Spain and the UK,"
Cahiers de recherche
9614, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
- Duclos, Jean-Yves & Mercader-Prats, Magda, 1999. "Household Needs and Poverty: With Application to Spain and the U.K," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(1), pages 77-98, March.
- Duclos, J.Y. & Mercader-Prats, M., 1996. "Household Needs and Poverty: With Application to Spain and the UK," Papers 9614, Laval - Recherche en Politique Economique.
- Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975.
- Foster, James E. & Shorrocks, Anthony F., 1988. "Inequality and poverty orderings," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 654-661, March.
- Chaudhuri, Shubham & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "How well do static indicators identify the chronically poor?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 367-394, March.
- Michael Hurd & F. Thomas Juster & James P. Smith, 2004. "Enhancing the Quality of Data on Income: Recent Developments in Survey Methodology," Labor and Demography 0412001, EconWPA.
- Blackburn, McKinley L, 1998. "The Sensitivity of International Poverty Comparisons," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(4), pages 449-472, December.
- Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Poverty rankings using noisy data on living standards," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 481-485, August.
- Lanjouw, Peter & Ravallion, Martin & DEC, 1994.
"Poverty and household size,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1332, The World Bank.
- Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, December.
- Atkinson, A B, 1992. "Measuring Poverty and Differences in Family Composition," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(233), pages 1-16, February.
- José Antonio Mejía-Guerra & Rob Vos, 1997. "Poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Inventory: 1980-95," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 10878, Inter-American Development Bank.
- Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Equivalence Scale Relativities and the Extent of Inequality and Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1067-1082, September.
- Howes, Stephen & Lanjouw, Jean Olson, 1998. "Does Sample Design Matter for Poverty Rate Comparisons?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(1), pages 99-109, March.
- Woden, Q.T. & Ayres, W. & Barenstein, M. & Hicks, N. & Lee, K. & Maloney, W. & Peeters, P. & Siaens, C. & Yitzjaki, S., 2000. "Poverty and Policy in Latin America and Caribeean," Papers 467, World Bank - Technical Papers.
- Szekely, Miguel, 1995. "Poverty in Mexico during Adjustment," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 41(3), pages 331-348, September.
- Foster, James E & Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1988. "Poverty Orderings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 173-177, January.
- Little, Roderick J A, 1988. "Missing-Data Adjustments in Large Surveys," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 6(3), pages 287-296, July.
- Lancaster, Geoffrey & Ray, Ranjan & Valenzuela, Maria Rebecca, 1999. "A Cross-Country Study of Equivalence Scales and Expenditure Inequality on Unit Record Household Budget Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(4), pages 455-482, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:32:y:2004:i:4:p:523-558. 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.