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Premature mortality and poverty measurement

  • Kanbur, Ravi
  • Mukherjee, Diganta

There is a glaring paradox in all commonly used measures of poverty. The death of a poor person, because of poverty, reduces poverty according to these measures. This surely violates our basic intuitions of how poverty measures should behave. It cannot be right in concept that differentially higher mortality among the poor serves to reduce poverty. This paper begins the task of developing poverty measures that are not perversely mortality sensitive. A family of measures is proposed that is an intuitive modification of standard poverty measures to take into account the fact that the rich live longer than the poor. Version: October 2006

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Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2003-06.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2003
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2003-06
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  1. BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter & DONALDSON, David, 2006. "Population Ethics," Cahiers de recherche 2006-15, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    • BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter & DONALDSON, David, 2006. "Population Ethics," Cahiers de recherche 14-2006, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en ├ęconomie quantitative, CIREQ.
  2. Kai-yuen Tsui, 2002. "Multidimensional poverty indices," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 69-93.
  3. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  4. Mukherjee, Diganta, 2001. "Measuring multidimensional deprivation," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 233-251, November.
  5. Zheng, Buhong, 1997. " Aggregate Poverty Measures," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 123-62, June.
  6. Arrhenius, Gustaf, 2000. "An Impossibility Theorem for Welfarist Axiologies," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 247-266, October.
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