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On Measuring Vulnerability to Poverty

Author

Listed:
  • James E. Foster

    () (Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)

  • Indranil Dutta

    () (Department of Economics, University of Manchester)

  • Ajit Mishra

    () (Department of Economics, University of Bath)

Abstract

There is a growing interest on dynamic and broader concepts of deprivation such as vulnerability, which takes in to account the destitution of individuals from future shocks. We use the framework of decision making under uncertainty to arrive at a new measure of vulnerability to poverty. We highlight the importance of current standard of living to better capture the notion of vulnerability. In conceptualizing the new class of measures of vulnerability we thus move beyond the standard expected poverty measures that is commonly found in the literature. We also axiomatically characterize the new class of measure and discuss some of its properties.

Suggested Citation

  • James E. Foster & Indranil Dutta & Ajit Mishra, 2010. "On Measuring Vulnerability to Poverty," Working Papers 2010-13, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2010-13
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cesar Calvo & Stefan Dercon, 2005. "Measuring Individual Vulnerability," Economics Series Working Papers 229, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 2000. "In Sickness and in Health: Risk Sharing within Households in Rural Ethiopia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 688-727, August.
    3. Morduch, Jonathan, 1994. "Poverty and Vulnerability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 221-225, May.
    4. Luc J. Christiaensen & Kalanidhi Subbarao, 2005. "Towards an Understanding of Household Vulnerability in Rural Kenya," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(4), pages 520-558, December.
    5. Menezes, C & Geiss, C & Tressler, J, 1980. "Increasing Downside Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 921-932, December.
    6. Ethan Ligon & Laura Schechter, 2003. "Measuring Vulnerability," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages 95-102, March.
    7. Foster, James E, 1998. "Absolute versus Relative Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 335-341, May.
    8. Basu, Kaushik & Nolen, Patrick, 2004. "Vulnerability, Unemployment and Poverty: A New Class of Measures, Its Axiomatic Properties and Application," Working Papers 04-07, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
    9. Hoddinott, John & Quisumbing, Agnes, 2003. "Methods for microeconometric risk and vulnerability assessments," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 29138, The World Bank.
    10. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-231, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Poverty; Vulnerability; Uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • D69 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Other
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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