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By ignoring intra-household inequality do we underestimate the extent of poverty?

Author

Listed:
  • Sylvie Lambert

    () (Paris School of Economics, INRA)

  • Philippe De Vreyer

    () (Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University,IRD, LEDa, DIAL)

Abstract

This paper uses a novel survey to re-examine inequality and poverty levels in Senegal. In order to account for intra-household inequalities, it uses consumption data collected at a relatively disaggregated level within households. This data reveal that mean consumption is higher than measured by standard consumption surveys and second, that consumption inequality in this country is also much higher that what is commonly thought, with a Gini index reaching 48. These findings affect global poverty estimates in opposite directions and in this context, nearly compensate each other. Intra-household consumption inequalities are shown to account for nearly 14% of total inequality in Senegal. These results are robust to the existence of plausible measurement errors. As a result of this intra-household inequality, “invisible poor” exist with 12.6% of the poor individuals living in non-poor households.

Suggested Citation

  • Sylvie Lambert & Philippe De Vreyer, 2017. "By ignoring intra-household inequality do we underestimate the extent of poverty?," Working Papers DT/2017/05, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  • Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt201705
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicolas Berman & Lorenzo Rotunno & Roberta Ziparo, 2020. "Sweet child of mine: Parental income, child health and inequality," Working Papers halshs-02499192, HAL.
    2. De Vreyer, Philippe & Nilsson, Björn, 2019. "When solidarity fails: Heterogeneous effects on children from adult deaths in Senegalese households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 73-94.
    3. Berman, Nicolas & Rotunno, Lorenzo & Ziparo, Roberta, 2020. "Sweet child of mine: Income, health and inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 14444, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Rocco Zizzamia & Simone Schotte & Murray Leibbrandt, 2019. "Snakes and ladders and loaded dice: Poverty dynamics and inequality in South Africa, 2008-2017," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2019-25, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; Poverty; Intrahousehold allocation; Senegal;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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