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By ignoring intra-household inequality, do we underestimate the extent of poverty?

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  • Philippe de Vreyer

    (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme)

  • Sylvie Lambert

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

This paper uses a novel survey to re-examine inequality and poverty levels in Senegal. In order to account for intra-household inequalities, the paper uses consumption data collected at a relatively disaggregated level within households. This data reveal that first, mean consumption is higher than measured by standard consumption surveys; and second, that consumption inequality in this country is also much higher that what is commonly thought, with a Gini index reaching 48. These findings affect global poverty estimates in opposite directions and in this context, nearly compensate for each other. Intra-household consumption inequalities are shown to account for nearly 14% of total inequality in Senegal. These results are robust to the existence of plausible measurement errors. As a result of this intra-household inequality, "invisible poor" exist with 12.6% of the poor individuals living in non-poor households.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe de Vreyer & Sylvie Lambert, 2018. "By ignoring intra-household inequality, do we underestimate the extent of poverty?," PSE Working Papers halshs-01724194, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-01724194
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01724194
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicolas Berman & Lorenzo Rotunno & Roberta Ziparo, 2020. "Sweet child of mine: Parental income, child health and inequality," Working Papers halshs-02499192, HAL.
    2. De Vreyer, Philippe & Nilsson, Björn, 2019. "When solidarity fails: Heterogeneous effects on children from adult deaths in Senegalese households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 73-94.
    3. Berman, Nicolas & Rotunno, Lorenzo & Ziparo, Roberta, 2020. "Sweet child of mine: Income, health and inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 14444, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Mario Biggeri & Jose Antonio Cuesta, 2021. "An Integrated Framework for Child Poverty and Well-Being Measurement: Reconciling Theories," Child Indicators Research, Springer;The International Society of Child Indicators (ISCI), vol. 14(2), pages 821-846, April.
    5. Rocco Zizzamia & Simone Schotte & Murray Leibbrandt, 2019. "Snakes and ladders and loaded dice: Poverty dynamics and inequality in South Africa, 2008-2017," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2019-25, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; Poverty; Household surveys; Intra-household allocation; Senegal;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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