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The poverty burden: a measure of the difficulty of ending extreme poverty

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  • John Quiggin
  • Renuka Mahadevan

Abstract

The commonly used poverty gap measure is extended to derive and analyse the properties of a poverty burden measure to address the question of whether the elimination of poverty is a feasible objective, given sufficient political commitment. The resources potentially available to address poverty may be measured by the total amount by which the incomes of the non-poor exceed the same poverty line. The ratio of the poverty gap to the resources potentially available is equal to the proportional tax rate on incomes in excess of the poverty line that would be required to fund a transfer sufficient to raise the incomes of all poor people to the poverty line. We refer to this ratio as the ‘poverty burden’ and provide some empirical evidence of what is required to eliminate poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • John Quiggin & Renuka Mahadevan, 2015. "The poverty burden: a measure of the difficulty of ending extreme poverty," Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 167-177, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rjapxx:v:20:y:2015:i:2:p:167-177
    DOI: 10.1080/13547860.2015.1020612
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lidia Ceriani & Paolo Verme, 2014. "The Income Lever and the Allocation of Aid," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(11), pages 1510-1522, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid

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