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Multidimensional Poverty Measures from an Information Theory Perspective

  • Maria Ana Lugo

    ()

    (University of Oxford)

  • Esfandiar Maasoumi

    (Southern Methodist University)

This paper proposes to use an information theory approach to the design of multidimensional poverty indices. Traditional monetary approaches to poverty rely on the strong assumption that all relevant attributes of well-being are perfectly substitutable. Based on the idea of the essentiality of some attributes, scholars have recently suggested multidimensional poverty indices where the existence of a trade-off between attributes is relevant only for individuals who are below a poverty threshold in all of them (Bourguignon and Chakravarty 2003, Tsui 2002). The present paper proposes a method which encompasses both approaches and, moreover, it opens the door to an intermediate position which allows, to a certain extent, for substitution of attributes even in the case in which one or more (but not all) dimensions are above the set threshold. An application using individual well-being data from Indonesian households in 2000 is presented in order to compare the results under the different approaches.

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File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2008-85.pdf
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Paper provided by ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality in its series Working Papers with number 85.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2008-85
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ecineq.orgEmail:


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  1. James E. Foster & Artyom A. Shneyerov, 1999. "A general class of additively decomposable inequality measures," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 89-111.
  2. Decancq, Koen & Decoster, André & Schokkaert, Erik, 2009. "The Evolution of World Inequality in Well-being," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 11-25, January.
  3. Conchita D'Ambrosio & Joseph Deutsch & Jacques Silber, 2009. "Multidimensional approaches to poverty measurement: an empirical analysis of poverty in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, based on the European panel," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(8), pages 951-961.
  4. A. Atkinson, 2003. "Multidimensional Deprivation: Contrasting Social Welfare and Counting Approaches," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 51-65, April.
  5. Sudhir Anand and Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of Human Development Index," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2000-01, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  6. Kai-yuen Tsui, 2002. "Multidimensional poverty indices," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 69-93.
  7. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  8. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Sahn, David & Younger, Stephen D., 2001. "Robust Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons," Cahiers de recherche 0115, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  9. Tsui Kai-Yuen, 1995. "Multidimensional Generalizations of the Relative and Absolute Inequality Indices: The Atkinson-Kolm-Sen Approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 251-265, October.
  10. Patricia Justino & Julie Litchfield & Yoko Niimi, 2004. "Multidimensional Inequality: An Empirial Application to Brazil," PRUS Working Papers 24, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.
  11. Hirschberg, Joseph G. & Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Slottje, Daniel J., 1991. "Cluster analysis for measuring welfare and quality of life across countries," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 131-150, October.
  12. Bourguignon, F. & Chakravarty, S.R., 1998. "A Family of Multidimensional Poverty Measures," DELTA Working Papers 98-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  13. Maria Ana Lugo, 2005. "Comparing Multidimensional Indices of Inequality: methods and application," Working Papers 14, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
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  19. Jean-Yves Duclos & David Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2006. "Robust Multidimensional Spatial Poverty Comparisons in Ghana, Madagascar, and Uganda," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 91-113.
  20. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2003:i:7:p:1-6 is not listed on IDEAS
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  22. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  23. Sudhir Anand & Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of the Human Development Index," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 83-106.
  24. Jean-Yves Duclos & David Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2006. "Robust Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons with Discrete Indicators of Well-being," Cahiers de recherche 0628, CIRPEE.
  25. Stéphane Mussard & Michel Terraza & Françoise Seyte, 2003. "Decomposition of Gini and the generalized entropy inequality measures," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(7), pages 1-6.
  26. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
  27. Joseph Deutsch & Jacques Silber, 2005. "Measuring Multidimensional Poverty: An Empirical Comparison Of Various Approaches," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(1), pages 145-174, 03.
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