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Concepts of Poverty and the Poverty Line

  • Tim Callan

    (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))

  • Brian Nolan

    (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))

Various approaches adopted in developed economies to distinguishing between the poor and non-poor--to setting a poverty line--are reviewed. These include the budget standard, food ratio, "official," subjective and relative poverty line methods, as well as the analysis of indicators of deprivation. There has been significant progress in recent years in the degree of sophistication involved, and a movement away from approaches with a quasi-absolute background. However, all the methods face formidable problems at conceptual and empirical levels, and no single approach is likely to dominate. Copyright 1991 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd

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Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number WP002.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jun 1987
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp002
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  1. Hagenaars, Aldi J M & van Praag, Bernard M S, 1985. "A Synthesis of Poverty Line Definitions," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 31(2), pages 139-54, June.
  2. van Praag, Bernard M S & Hagenaars, Aldi J M & van Weeren, Hans, 1982. "Poverty in Europe," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 28(3), pages 345-59, September.
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