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Measuring Poverty Without The Mortality Paradox

  • Mathieu Lefebvre

    (CREPP - Center of Research in Public Economics and Population Economics - Université de Liège)

  • Pierre Pestieau

    (CREPP - Center of Research in Public Economics and Population Economics - Université de Liège, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) - Belgique, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)

  • Grégory Ponthière

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

Under income-differentiated mortality, poverty measures reflect not only the "true" poverty, but, also, the interferences or noise caused by the survival process at work. Such interferences lead to the Mortality Paradox: the worse the survival conditions of the poor are, the lower the measured poverty is. We examine several solutions to avoid that paradox. We identify conditions under which the extension, by means of a fictitious income, of lifetime income profiles of the prematurely dead neutralizes the noise due to differential mortality. Then, to account not only for the "missing" poor, but, also, for the "hidden" poverty (premature death), we use, as a fictitious income, the welfare-neutral income, making indifferent between life continuation and death. The robustness of poverty measures to the extension technique is illustrated with regional Belgian data.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00622325.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00622325
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  1. Angus Deaton, 2002. "Health, inequality, and economic development," Working Papers 270, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  2. Mukherjee, Diganta, 2001. "Measuring multidimensional deprivation," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 233-251, November.
  3. Martin Salm, 2007. "The Effect of Pensions on Longevity: Evidence from Union Army Veterans," MEA discussion paper series 07118, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  4. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2003. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," NBER Working Papers 9765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ravi Kanbur & Diganta Mukherjee, 2007. "Premature Mortality And Poverty Measurement," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 339-359, October.
  6. Broome, John, 2006. "Weighing Lives," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199297702, March.
  7. Deaton, Angus S & Paxson, Christina H, 1998. "Aging and Inequality in Income and Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 248-53, May.
  8. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  9. Sen, Amartya, 1998. "Mortality as an Indicator of Economic Success and Failure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 1-25, January.
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