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A Dual-Regime Utility Model for Poverty Analysis

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  • Claudia Biancotti

    () (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

This paper offers a micro-founded general definition of poverty set in the context of utility theory. Poverty and non-poverty are described as two structurally different types of local non-satiation: the former entails a strong need for further consumption and social marginalization, the latter is characterized by a weak need for further consumption and satisfactory adjustment to social expectations. Each of the states can be fully described by a separate technology of utility production. The model is tested on data from the Bank of Italy�s Survey of Household Income and Wealth; an indicator of self-reported economic satisfaction is regressed on yearly consumption of food and non-food commodities. The predictions of the model are confirmed in the case of food consumption, signalling the existence of physiological minima that are uniformly perceived by individuals. For non-food commodities, no significant change of regimes is found: welfare appears to be connected with needs that are less exposed to structural variation, possibly because they are not as urgent or objective as food-related ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Biancotti, 2006. "A Dual-Regime Utility Model for Poverty Analysis," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 603, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_603_06
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    File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-discussione/2006/2006-0603/tema_603.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Ferrero & Andrea Nobili & Patrizia Passiglia, 2007. "The sectoral distribution of money supply in the Euro area," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 627, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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