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Inter-country Comparisons of Poverty Based on a Capability Approach: An Empirical Exercise

Author

Listed:
  • Sanjay G. Reddy

    () (Dept. of Economics, Barnard College, Columbia University)

  • Sujata Visaria

    () (Dept. of Economics, Boston University)

  • Muhammad Asali

    () (Dept. of Economics, Columbia University)

Abstract

We argue that inter-country comparisons of income poverty based on poverty lines uniformly reflecting the costs of the basic requirements of human beings are superior to the existing money-metric approaches. In this exercise, we implement a uniform approach to poverty assessment based on basic human capabilities for three countries: Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Vietnam. We compute standard errors of the resulting poverty estimates and compare the incidence of poverty across these three countries. The choice of approach affects both cardinal estimates and ordinal rankings of poverty across countries and over time. Meaningful and coherent inter-country poverty comparisons can be advanced through international co-ordination in survey design and in the construction of income poverty lines that uniformly reflect the costs of the basic requirements of human beings.

Suggested Citation

  • Sanjay G. Reddy & Sujata Visaria & Muhammad Asali, 2006. "Inter-country Comparisons of Poverty Based on a Capability Approach: An Empirical Exercise," Working Papers 27, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  • Handle: RePEc:ipc:wpaper:27
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephan Klasen & Tatyana Krivobokova & Friederike Greb & Rahul Lahoti & Syamsul Hidayat Pasaribu & Manuel Wiesenfarth, 2016. "International income poverty measurement: which way now?," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 14(2), pages 199-225, June.
    2. Regier, Gregory & Zereyesus, Yacob & Dalton, Timothy & Amanor-Boadu, Vincent, 2015. "Do Adult Equivalence Scales Matter in Poverty Estimates? A Ghana Case Study," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212487, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Camelia Minoiu & Sanjay Reddy, 2008. "Kernel Density Estimation Based on Grouped Data; The Case of Poverty Assessment," IMF Working Papers 08/183, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Daniel Gottlieb & Alexander Fruman, 2011. "A quality-index of poverty measures," Working Papers 239, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    5. Alkire, Sabina, 2008. "Choosing Dimensions: The Capability Approach and Multidimensional Poverty," MPRA Paper 8862, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Stephan Klasen, 2009. "Levels and Trends in Absolute Poverty in the World: What we know and what we don’t," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 11, Courant Research Centre PEG.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Poverty; Inter-Country comparisons; Capability approach;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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