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Estimation of the Food Poverty Line


  • Jose Ramon Albert


  • Wilma Molano


ABSTRACT To monitor changes in absolute poverty across time, it is crucial to ensure that the established poverty line is a fixed standard of living that represents the minimum standard required by an individual to fulfill his or her basic food and non-food needs. Typically, the food (component of the) poverty line is set with the cost of basic needs method, which entails determining the price of some nutritional benchmark through an artifice. In the Philippines, the official food poverty line is estimated at urban and rural areas of each province by using a one-day food menu as the artifice. These menus satisfy energy, and other nutrient requirements. We review the issues raised on this methodology, including the nutritional benchmarks, and propose an alternative approach for estimating the food poverty line using a representative food basket (and some spatial price indices to adjust for differences in cost of living). The proposed methodology addresses issues on consistency raised against the current official approach for setting food poverty lines.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Ramon Albert & Wilma Molano, 2009. "Estimation of the Food Poverty Line," Development Economics Working Papers 22948, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:develo:22948

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ravallion, M., 1992. "Poverty Comparisons - A Guide to Concepts and Methods," Papers 88, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    2. Arsenio M. Balisacan, 2001. "Poverty in the Philippines : An Update and Reexamination," Philippine Review of Economics, University of the Philippines School of Economics and Philippine Economic Society, vol. 38(1), pages 15-52, June.
    3. Reyes, Celia M., 2002. "The Poverty Fight: Have We Made an Impact?," Discussion Papers DP 2002-20, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    4. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2003. "On the utility consistency of poverty lines," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3157, The World Bank.
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    More about this item


    food poverty line; menu; basket; spatial price index; consistency;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty


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