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Poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Inventory: 1980-95

  • José Antonio Mejía-Guerra
  • Rob Vos
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    In this paper we will not intend to derive improved poverty measures for the Americas. Our pretensions are much more modest. The purposes of the paper are to provide an inventory of available poverty estimates for the countries of the region derived from a variety of studies and data sources (albeit mainly household surveys), to establish the degree of comparability of these estimates over time and across countries and to systematize the differences in conceptualization and methods of measurement explaining why poverty estimates may diverge so much. This should also help to put into perspective the poverty estimates for the region as included in the IDB's Economic and Social Data Base (ESDB) and other sources compiling such data. In this effort, we limit ourselves to the "income approach" to poverty, that is the definition and measurement of poverty in terms of a lack of resources required to purchase a minimum bundle of essential goods. As explained in Part 1 of this paper, this is only one possible approach to poverty measurement, albeit perhaps the most commonly used one and also the one central to the Bank's criteria to determine which of its operations qualify as "poverty targeted".

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    Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank in its series IDB Publications (Working Papers) with number 10878.

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    Date of creation: 1997
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    Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:10878
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    1. Székely, Miguel, 1995. "Aspectos de la desigualdad en México," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(246), pages 201-243, abril-jun.
    2. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    3. Haddad, Lawrence & Kanbur, Ravi, 1989. "How serious is the neglect of intrahousehold inequality ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 296, The World Bank.
    4. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-64, July.
    5. Lipton, Michael & Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Poverty and policy," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2551-2657 Elsevier.
    6. Morley, S. & Vos, R., 1997. "Poverty and dualistic growth in Paraguay," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19004, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    7. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
    8. Rob Vos, 1996. "Hacia un sistema de indicadores sociales," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 10118, Inter-American Development Bank.
    9. Hentschel, J. & Lanjouw, P., 1996. "Constructing an Indicator of Consumption for the Analysis of Poverty. Principles and Illustrations with Reference to Ecuador," Papers 127, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    10. Foster, James E & Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1991. "Subgroup Consistent Poverty Indices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 687-709, May.
    11. Grosh, M.E. & Munoz, J., 1996. "A Manual for Planning and Implementing the Living Standards Measurement Study Survey," Papers 126, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
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