IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Operationalising the Capability Approach: A German Correlation Sensitive Poverty Index


  • Nicole Rippin

    (German Development Institute (DIE))


The official measure to analyse poverty in Germany is the at-risk-of-poverty rate, defined as 60 per cent of the median net equivalence income. The severe methodological weaknesses of this rate seem to be the main source for the uncertainty that the issue of poverty in Germany generates in the minds of both the government and the public. Especially since it smacks of envy as a person needs more when others have more. The unacceptance of the rate is additionally fuelled by the high figures it produces. This paper uses the rich data source of the German Socio-Economic Panel in order to propose a new multidimensional poverty index for Germany that is based on the capability approach. It also introduces a multidimensional happiness index, a concept that is enjoying increasing popularity. All three indices are compared across dimensions, regions and over time, and the results seem to indicate one thing above all: the high added value that is created though the new German Correlation Sensitive Poverty Index (GCSPI).

Suggested Citation

  • Nicole Rippin, 2012. "Operationalising the Capability Approach: A German Correlation Sensitive Poverty Index," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 132, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:132

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Beegle, Kathleen & De Weerdt, Joachim & Friedman, Jed & Gibson, John, 2012. "Methods of household consumption measurement through surveys: Experimental results from Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 3-18.
    2. Sorenson, Susan B. & Morssink, Christiaan & Campos, Paola Abril, 2011. "Safe access to safe water in low income countries: Water fetching in current times," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(9), pages 1522-1526, May.
    3. Isabel Günther & Youdi Schipper, 2013. "Pumps, Germs And Storage: The Impact Of Improved Water Containers On Water Quality And Health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 757-774, July.
    4. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    5. Hugh Waddington & Birte Snilstveit, 2009. "Effectiveness and sustainability of water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions in combating diarrhoea," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(3), pages 295-335.
    6. Florencia Devoto & Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & William Parienté & Vincent Pons, 2012. "Happiness on Tap: Piped Water Adoption in Urban Morocco," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 68-99, November.
    7. C. Mark Blackden & Quentin Wodon, 2006. "Gender, Time Use, and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7214.
    8. Bevan, David & Collier, Paul & Gunning, Jan Willem, 1990. "Peasants and Governments: An Economic Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286219, June.
    9. Edwin Leuven & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing," Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Feb 2018.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Multidimensional poverty measurement; counting indices; inequality; correlation sensitivity; identification;

    JEL classification:

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


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:132. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dominik Noe). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.