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Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons within Europe. Evidence from the European Community Household Panel


  • Szeles, Monica

    (Transilvania University, Brasov, Romania)


This paper is a cross-sectional study on multidimensional poverty comparisons among the European Union countries, based on data provided by the European Community Household Panel (ECHP). In addition to the empirical results and the methodological problems, the study underlines the opportunities and the difficulties met while using the ECHP. The extended concept of poverty is relative and multidimensional and it reflects not only the financial aspects, but also dimensions like family composition, leisure, subjective deprivation, social participation, durable goods, housing conditions, access to education. Hence, it requires comparative assessments through ordinal measures. In order to compare the multidimensional poverty in 1999 and in a time interval (1994-1999), we have applied the Totally Fuzzy and Relative Method (TFR) in two forms: original (Cheli and Lemmi, 1995) and alternative (Cheli, D’Agostino and Filippone, 2001). The research reveals the hierarchy of countries according to different indicators of poverty. Although the rankings given by the two methods are similar in some parts, there are differences establishing the issues which arise when different features of deprivation are aggregated into a collective index. We show that the variables taken into account, the method and its interpretability, the data and the national particularities, they all have a big influence on the relative and comparative measurement of poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Szeles, Monica, 2004. "Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons within Europe. Evidence from the European Community Household Panel," IRISS Working Paper Series 2004-05, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:iriswp:2004-05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Basu, Kaushik, 1987. "Axioms for a fuzzy measure of inequality," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 275-288, December.
    2. Betti, Gianni & D'Agostino, Antonella & Neri, Laura, 2000. "Panel regression models for measuring poverty dynamics in Great Britain," ISER Working Paper Series 2000-42, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Caterina Ruggeri Laderchi, "undated". "The Monetary Approach to Poverty: A Survey of Concepts and Methods," QEH Working Papers qehwps58, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    4. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-231, March.
    5. Atkinson, Tony & Cantillon, Bea & Marlier, Eric & Nolan, Brian, 2002. "Social Indicators: The EU and Social Inclusion," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199253494.
    6. Sara Lelli, 2001. "Factor Analysis vs. Fuzzy Sets Theory: Assessing the Influence of Different Techniques on Sen's Functioning Approach," Public Economics Working Paper Series ces0121, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
    7. Slesnick, Daniel T, 1993. "Gaining Ground: Poverty in the Postwar United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-38, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. M. Lazim & M. Abu Osman, 2009. "A New Malaysian Quality of Life Index Based on Fuzzy Sets and Hierarchical Needs," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 499-508, December.
    2. Aysenur Acar, 2014. "The Dynamics of Multidimensional Poverty in Turkey," Working Papers 014, Bahcesehir University, Betam.
    3. Ngunza Maniata, Kevin, 2014. "Théorie des ensembles flous et décomposition multidimensionnelle de la pauvreté en République Démocratique du Congo
      [Fuzzy sets theory and Multidimensional poverty in Democratic Republic of Congo]
      ," MPRA Paper 68481, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 27 Aug 2015.

    More about this item


    multidimensional poverty ; fuzzy set theory ; poverty comparisons ; poverty measurement ; well-being assessment;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics

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