The capability dilemma in operational poverty assessment
This paper compares the standard economic welfare approach to poverty measurement to the empirical approaches proposed in the capability literature under the special focus of their suitability for operational poverty assessment, i.e. targeting and outreach evaluation. We question whether the measurement of per capita daily expenditures compared with a monetary poverty line justifiably remains the most widely used approach regarding poverty assessment. Its underlying value judgments and unsatisfactory assumptions differ considerably from those of the capability concept of poverty but the two approaches can be linked and critically compared with respect to the role of income, the conceptualisation of absolute poverty and the development of operational tools. We argue that despite the progress made in operationalizing the capability approach, there remain serious challenges when focussing on targeting and outreach evaluation and propose three alternative solutions for dealing with this capability dilemma in practice.
|Date of creation:||19 Mar 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Platz des Göttinger Sieben 3, 37073 Göttingen|
Phone: 0049-551-39 81 72
Fax: 0049-551-39 81 73
Web page: http://www.iai.wiwi.uni-goettingen.de
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ingrid Robeyns, 2003. "Sen'S Capability Approach And Gender Inequality: Selecting Relevant Capabilities," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 61-92.
- Streeten, Paul & Burki, Shahid Javed, 1978. "Basic needs: Some issues," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 411-421, March.
- Alkire, Sabina, 2002.
"Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction,"
Oxford University Press, number 9780199245796, December.
- Alkire, Sabina, 2005. "Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199283316, December.
- Paul Anand & Graham Hunter & Ron Smith, 2004.
"Capabilities and Wellbeing: Evidence Based on the Sen-Nussbaum Approach to Welfare,"
Open Discussion Papers in Economics
47, The Open University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
- Paul Anand & Graham Hunter & Ron Smith, 2005. "Capabilities and Well-Being: Evidence Based on the Sen–Nussbaum Approach to Welfare," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 9-55, October.
- Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
- Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, November.
- Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-64, July.
- Sabates, Ricardo & Gould, Brian W. & Villarreal, Hector J., 2001. "Household composition and food expenditures: a cross-country comparison," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 571-586, December.
- 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.
- Martin Ravallion & Michael Lokshin, 2006. "Testing Poverty Lines," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(3), pages 399-421, 09.
- Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2003. "On the utility consistency of poverty lines," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3157, The World Bank.
- Klasen, Stephan, 2000. "Measuring Poverty and Deprivation in South Africa," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 33-58, March.
- Miguel Szekely & Nora Lustig & Martin Cumpa & Jose Antonio Mejia, 2004.
"Do we know how much poverty there is?,"
Oxford Development Studies,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 523-558.
- Miguel Székely & Nora Lustig & Martin Cumpa & José Antonio Mejía-Guerra, 2000. "Do We Know How Much Poverty There Is?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6477, Inter-American Development Bank.
- Miguel Székely & Nora Lustig & Martin Cumpa & José Antonio Mejía-Guerra, 2000. "Do We Know How Much Poverty There Is?," Research Department Publications 4239, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Tarp, Finn, et al, 2002.
"The Robustness of Poverty Profiles Reconsidered,"
Economic Development and Cultural Change,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 77-108, October.
- Tarp, Finn & Simler, Kenneth & Matusse, Cristina & Heltberg, Rasmus & Dava, Gabriel, 2002. "The robustness of poverty profiles reconsidered," FCND discussion papers 124, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Tarp, Finn & Simler, Kenneth & Matusse, Cristina & Heltberg, Rasmus & Dava, Gabriel, 2002. "The robustness of poverty profiles reconsidered," FCND briefs 124, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Hyun H. Son & Nanak Kakwani, 2006. "Measuring the Impact of Price Changes on Poverty," Working Papers 33, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
- Sen, Amartya, 1995. "Rationality and Social Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 1-24, March.
- Ravallion, M., 1998. "Poverty Lines in Theory and Practice," Papers 133, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
- Hicks, Norman L., 1979. "Growth vs basic needs: Is there a trade-off?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 7(11-12), pages 985-994.
- Bourguignon, F. & Chakravarty, S.R., 1998.
"The Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty,"
DELTA Working Papers
98-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Alkire, Sabina, 2002. "Dimensions of Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 181-205, February.
- Szekely, Miguel & Lustig, Nora & Cumpa, Martin & Antonio Mejia, Jose, 2000. "Do we know how much poverty there is?," Working Papers 244243, Inter-American Development Bank.
- Udaya Wagle, 2005. "Multidimensional Poverty Measurement with Economic Well-being, Capability, and Social Inclusion: A Case from Kathmandu, Nepal," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 301-328.
- Anand, Paul & van Hees, Martin, 2006. "Capabilities and achievements: An empirical study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 268-284, April.
- Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1986. "A methodology for measuring food poverty applied to Kenya," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 59-74, November.
- Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
- Ravallion, M., 1992. "Poverty Comparisons - A Guide to Concepts and Methods," Papers 88, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
- Blackwood, D. L. & Lynch, R. G., 1994. "The measurement of inequality and poverty: A policy maker's guide to the literature," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 567-578, April.
- Glewwe, Paul & van der Gaag, Jacques, 1990. "Identifying the poor in developing countries: Do different definitions matter?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 803-814, June.
- Mozaffar Qizilbash & David Clark, 2005. "The Capability Approach and Fuzzy Poverty Measures: An Application to the South African Context," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 103-139, October.
- Atkinson, Anthony B, 2001. "The Strange Disappearance of Welfare Economics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 193-206.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:got:iaidps:159. 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: (Sabine Jaep)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.