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Multidimensional poverty indices: A critical assessment

Author

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  • Jean-Yves Duclos
  • Luca Tiberti

Abstract

This paper reviews and assesses issues involved in the measurement of multidimensional poverty, in particular the soundness of the various “axioms” and properties often imposed on poverty indices. It argues that some of these properties (such as those relating poverty and inequality) may be sound in a unidimensional setting but not so in a multidimensional one. Second, it addresses critically some of the features of recently proposed multidimensional poverty indices, in particular the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) recently put forward by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The MPI suffers from several unattractive features that need to be better understood (given the prominence of the index). The MPI fails in particular to meet all of three properties that one would expect multidimensional poverty indices to obey: continuity, monotonicity, and sensitivity to multiple deprivation. Robustness techniques to address some of the shortcomings of the use of such indices are briefly advocated.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Yves Duclos & Luca Tiberti, 2016. "Multidimensional poverty indices: A critical assessment," Cahiers de recherche 1602, CIRPEE.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1602
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    File URL: http://www.cirpee.org/fileadmin/documents/Cahiers_2016/CIRPEE16-02.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bibi, Sami & Duclos, Jean-Yves, 2007. "Equity and policy effectiveness with imperfect targeting," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 109-140, May.
    2. Chakravarty, Satya R. & Deutsch, Joseph & Silber, Jacques, 2008. "On the Watts Multidimensional Poverty Index and its Decomposition," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1067-1077, June.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Multidimensional poverty indices: A critical assessment
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-02-11 23:27:27

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rolf Aaberge & Andrea Brandolini, 2014. "Multidimensional poverty and inequality," Discussion Papers 792, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    2. Espinoza-Delgado, José & Silber, Jacques, 2018. "Multi-dimensional poverty among adults in Central America and gender differences in the three I’s of poverty: Applying inequality sensitive poverty measures with ordinal variables," MPRA Paper 88750, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Espinoza-Delgado, Jose & Klasen, Stephan, 2017. "Gender and Multidimensional Poverty in Nicaragua, An Individual-based Approach," MPRA Paper 81907, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. repec:eee:jpolmo:v:39:y:2017:i:6:p:983-1006 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sabina Alkire, 2015. "The Capability Approach and Well-Being Measurement for Public Policy," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp094.pdf, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multidimensional poverty; United Nations Development Program; Poverty; Inequality.;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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