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A note on the measurement of poverty and vulnerability in the South African context

  • Mozaffar Qizilbash

    (School of Economic and Social Studies, UEA, Norwich, UK)

It is sometimes argued that poverty is multi-dimensional and that the borderline between the poor and the non-poor is vague. In this paper fuzzy set theoretic poverty measures are used to examine vulnerability and 'definite poverty' in various dimensions of the quality of life. The focus of the paper is on inter-provincial rankings in these dimensions at the time of the 1996 Census in South Africa. While various methodological difficulties are noted, the analysis suggests that the distinction between human and financial poverty, and that between definite poverty and extreme vulnerability, are important for policy, in particular as regards the inter-provincial distribution of funds. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 14 (2002)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 757-772

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:14:y:2002:i:6:p:757-772
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  1. Alfred Ngwane & Venkata Yadavalli & Francois Steffens, 2001. "Poverty in South Africa - a statistical analysis," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 201-215.
  2. Carter, Michael R. & May, Julian, 2001. "One Kind of Freedom: Poverty Dynamics in Post-apartheid South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(12), pages 1987-2006, December.
  3. Morduch, J., 1995. "Poverty and Vulnerability," Papers 477, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  4. 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.
  5. Klasen, Stephan, 2000. "Measuring Poverty and Deprivation in South Africa," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 33-58, March.
  6. Mozaffar Qizilbash, 2001. "Vague language and precise measurement: the case of poverty," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 41-58.
  7. Murray Leibbrandt & Ingrid Woolard, 1999. "A comparison of poverty in South Africa's nine provinces," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 37-54.
  8. Sen, Amartya, 1983. "Poor, Relatively Speaking," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 153-69, July.
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