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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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    File URL: http://www.dial.ird.fr/media/ird-sites-d-unites-de-recherche/dial/documents/publications/doc_travail/2017/2017-05
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Beck, Simon & De Vreyer, Philippe & Lambert, Sylvie & Marazyan, Karine & Safir, Abla, 2014. "Child Fostering in Senegal," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1403, CEPREMAP.
    2. Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 2000. "In Sickness and in Health: Risk Sharing within Households in Rural Ethiopia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 688-727, August.
    3. Philippe de Vreyer & Sylvie Lambert & Abla Safir & Momar Sylla, 2008. "Pauvreté et Structure Familiale. Pourquoi une nouvelle enquête ?," Post-Print hal-01399214, HAL.
    4. Djibril Ndoye & Franck Adoho & Prospère Backiny-Yetna & Mariama Fall & Papa Thiecouta Ndiaye & Quentin Wodon, 2009. "Tendance et profil de la pauvreté au Sénégal de 1994 à 2006," Perspective Afrique, Association Africaine pour les Sciences sociales, vol. 4(1-3), pages 1-29.
    5. Lambert, Sylvie & Rossi, Pauline, 2016. "Sons as widowhood insurance: Evidence from Senegal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 113-127.
    6. Kuan Xu, 2007. "U-Statistics and Their Asymptotic Results for Some Inequality and Poverty Measures," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(5), pages 567-577.
    7. Brown,Caitlin Susan & Ravallion,Martin & Van De Walle,Dominique, 2017. "Are poor individuals mainly found in poor households ? evidence using nutrition data for Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8001, The World Bank.
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    11. Biewen, Martin, 2002. "Bootstrap inference for inequality, mobility and poverty measurement," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 317-342, June.
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    13. Stephan Klasen & Rahul Lahoti, 2016. "How Serious is the Neglect of Intra-Household Inequality in Multi-dimensional Poverty Indices?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 200, Courant Research Centre PEG.
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    15. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10922 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1992. "Growth and redistribution components of changes in poverty measures : A decomposition with applications to Brazil and India in the 1980s," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 275-295, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    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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