Measuring Poverty among Canadian Households: Sensitivity to Choice of Measure and Scale
This paper uses microdata from the 1986 Statistics Canada Family Expenditure Survey to demonstrate that inequality-sensitive poverty measures such as the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (1984) index are as sensitive to the equivalence scale embodied in the poverty line as the more frequently used head count and poverty gap measures. Indices of the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke variety are useful, however, for revealing demographic subgroups experiencing extreme deprivation, information not provided by the more standard poverty measures. The paper also demonstrates that our understanding of the relative poverty experiences of important demographic subgroups such as children and the elderly can be influenced by our choice of equivalence scale.
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