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FGT Poverty Measures and the Mortality Paradox: Theory and Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Mathieu Lefebvre

    (Université de Liège)

  • Pierre Pestieau

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain = Catholic University of Louvain, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)

  • Grégory Ponthière

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

Abstract

Income-differentiated mortality, by reducing the share of poor persons in the population, leads to what can be called the "Mortality Paradox": the worse the survival conditions of the poor are, the lower the measured poverty is. We show that the extent to which FGT measures (Foster Greer Thorbecke 1984) underestimate old-age poverty under income-differentiated mortality depends on whether the prematurely dead would have, in case of survival, suffered from a more severe poverty than the average surviving population. Taking adjusted FGT measures with extended lifetime income profiles as a benchmark, we identify conditions under which the selection bias induced by income-differentiated mortality is higher for distribution-sensitive measures than for headcount measures. Finally, we show, on the basis of data on poverty in 11 European economies, that the size of the selection bias varies across different subclasses of FGT measures and across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathieu Lefebvre & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2013. "FGT Poverty Measures and the Mortality Paradox: Theory and Evidence," PSE Working Papers halshs-00845490, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00845490
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00845490
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. James E Duggan & Robert Gillingham & John S Greenlees, 2008. "Mortality and Lifetime Income: Evidence from U.S. Social Security Records," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 55(4), pages 566-594, December.
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    3. Mathieu Lefebvre & Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2013. "Measuring poverty without the Mortality Paradox," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(1), pages 285-316, January.
    4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    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. 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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    8. Backlund, Eric & Sorlie, Paul D. & Johnson, Norman J., 1999. "A comparison of the relationships of education and income with mortality: the national longitudinal mortality study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(10), pages 1373-1384, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leroux, Marie-Louise & Pestieau, Pierre & Ponthière, Grégory, 2015. "Longévité différentielle et redistribution : enjeux théoriques et empiriques," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 91(4), pages 465-497, Décembre.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income-differentiated mortality; FGT poverty measures;

    JEL classification:

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

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