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Intertemporal Poverty Measurement: Tradeoffs and Policy Options

  • Catherine Porter
  • Natalie Na¨iri Quinn

This paper makes three contributions to the literature on intertemporal poverty measurement, in particular the aggregation of a measure of wellbeing over time and across people. Firstly we conduct an exhaustive analysis of properties of intertemporal poverty measures, identifying relationships between the functional form and properties of ITPMs and identifying the tradeoffs and compatibilities that exist between the properties. We link this to the normative choices a poverty analyst must make when measuring intertemporal poverty. We also determine a ‘recipe’ which may be used to construct poverty measures with properties desired by the poverty analyst. Second, we apply the recipe to construct a new family of intertemporal poverty measures with the desired property of increasing compensation, a property that has thus far not been discussed in the literature. Third, we calculate measures from the new family and compare them to other measures recently proposed in the literature, to evaluate poverty in rural Ethiopia in the period 1994 - 2004.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2008-21.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2008-21
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  1. Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Issues in Measuring and Modelling Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1328-43, September.
  2. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  3. Deaton, Angus, 1992. " Household Saving in LDCs: Credit Markets, Insurance and Welfare," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(2), pages 253-73.
  4. Webb, Patrick & von Braun, Joachim & Yohannes, Yisehac, 1992. "Famine in Ethiopia: policy implications of coping failure at national and household levels," Research reports 92, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Bob Baulch & John Hoddinott, 2000. "Economic mobility and poverty dynamics in developing countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 1-24.
  6. Mckay, Andrew & Lawson, David, 2003. "Assessing the Extent and Nature of Chronic Poverty in Low Income Countries: Issues and Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 425-439, March.
  7. Mary Jo Bane & David T. Ellwood, 1986. "Slipping into and out of Poverty: The Dynamics of Spells," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-23.
  8. Cesar Calvo & Stefan Dercon, 2007. "Chronic Poverty and All That: The Measurement of Poverty over Time," CSAE Working Paper Series 2007-04, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  9. Ann Huff Stevens, 1999. "Climbing out of Poverty, Falling Back in: Measuring the Persistence of Poverty Over Multiple Spells," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 557-588.
  10. Stefan Dercon & John Hoddinott & Tassew Woldehanna, 2005. "Shocks and Consumption in 15 Ethiopian Villages, 1999--2004," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(4), pages 559-585, December.
  11. 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.
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