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Economic Well-being and Non-economic Well-being: A Review of the Meaning and Measurement of Poverty

  • Andrew Sumner
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    This paper discusses the measurement of poverty and well-being. A historical overview is given of the last fifty years. This is followed by discussion of three groupings of indicators: those measures based primarily on economic well-being; those based on non-economic well-being and composite indicators. It is argued that the choice of indicator should reflect its purpose and that economic measures are best when quick, rough-and-ready, short run, aggregate inferences are required. In contrast, non-economic measures are better when greater depth on medium- or longer-term trends and/or dis-aggregation are required. [Research Paper No. 2004/30]

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    Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:3268.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:3268
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    1. Srinivasan, T N, 1994. "Human Development: A New Paradigm or Reinvention of the Wheel?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 238-43, May.
    2. Desai, Meghnad, 1991. "Human development : Concepts and measurement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(2-3), pages 350-357, April.
    3. Anand, Sudhir & Sen, Amartya, 2000. "Human Development and Economic Sustainability," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2029-2049, December.
    4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
    5. Hicks, Norman & Streeten, Paul, 1979. "Indicators of development: The search for a basic needs yardstick," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 7(6), pages 567-580, June.
    6. Hulya Dagdeviren & Rolph van der Hoeven & John Weeks, 2000. "Redistribution Matters: Growth for Poverty Reduction," Working Papers 99, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
    7. Lipton, Michael & Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Poverty and policy," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2551-2657 Elsevier.
    8. White, Howard, 2002. "Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches in Poverty Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 511-522, March.
    9. Harriss, John, 2002. "The Case for Cross-Disciplinary Approaches in International Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 487-496, March.
    10. Pritchett, Lant & Suryahadi, Asep & Sumarto, Sudarno, 2000. "Quantifying vulnerability to poverty - a proposed measure, applied to Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2437, The World Bank.
    11. Sahn, David E. & Stifel, David C., 2000. "Poverty Comparisons Over Time and Across Countries in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2123-2155, December.
    12. Ravallion, M., 1992. "Poverty Comparisons - A Guide to Concepts and Methods," Papers 88, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    13. Sahn, David E. & Stifel, David C., 2003. "Progress Toward the Millennium Development Goals in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 23-52, January.
    14. Streeten, Paul, 1984. "Basic needs: Some unsettled questions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(9), pages 973-978, September.
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