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Absolute and Relative Deprivation and the Measurement of Poverty

  • Duclos, Jean-Yves


  • Grégoire, Philippe

This paper develops the link between poverty and inequality by focussing on a class of poverty indices (some of them well-known) which aggregate normative concerns for absolute and relative deprivation. The indices are distinguished by a parameter that captures the ethical sensitivity of poverty measurement to "exclusion" or "relative-deprivation" aversion. We also show how the indices can be readily used to predict the impact of growth on poverty. An illustration using LIS data finds that the United States show more relative deprivation than Denmark and Belgium whatever the percentiles considered, but that overall deprivation comparisons of the four countries considered will generally necessarily depend on the intensity of the ethical concern for relative deprivation. The impact of growth on poverty is also seen to depend on the presence of and on the attention granted to concerns over relative deprivation.

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Paper provided by Université Laval - Département d'économique in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 9910.

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Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lvl:laeccr:9910
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  1. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
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  3. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1995. "Revisiting the Sen Poverty Index," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(5), pages 1225-30, September.
  4. Marco Scarsini & Pietro Muliere, 1989. "A note on stochastic dominance and inequality measures," Post-Print hal-00542231, HAL.
  5. Yaari, Menahem E., 1988. "A controversial proposal concerning inequality measurement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 381-397, April.
  6. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:95:y:1980:i:3:p:567-73 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Atkinson, A B, 1992. "Measuring Poverty and Differences in Family Composition," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(233), pages 1-16, February.
  8. Blakorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1980. "Ethical Indices for the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 1053-60, May.
  9. Besley, Timothy J & Kanbur, S M Ravi, 1988. "Food Subsidies and Poverty Alleviation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(392), pages 701-19, September.
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  11. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-64, July.
  12. Zheng, Buhong, 1997. " Aggregate Poverty Measures," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 123-62, June.
  13. Lars Osberg & Kuan Xu, 2000. "International Comparisons of Poverty Intensity: Index Decomposition and Bootstrap Inference," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 51-81.
  14. Chakravarty, Satya R., 1983. "A new index of poverty," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 307-313, December.
  15. Angus Deaton, 2001. "Health, Inequality, and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 8318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Kakwani, Nanak, 1980. "On a Class of Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 437-46, March.
  17. Hagenaars, Aldi J M, 1987. "A Class of Poverty Indices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 583-607, October.
  18. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Can high-inequality developing countries escape absolute poverty?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1775, The World Bank.
  19. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  20. Myles, John & Picot, Garnett, 2000. "Poverty Indices and Policy Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(2), pages 161-79, June.
  21. Foster, James E & Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1991. "Subgroup Consistent Poverty Indices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 687-709, May.
  22. Clark, Stephen & Hemming, Richard & Ulph, David, 1981. "On Indices for the Measurement of Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(362), pages 515-26, June.
  23. Foster, James E. & Shorrocks, Anthony F., 1988. "Inequality and poverty orderings," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 654-661, March.
  24. Thon, Dominique, 1979. "On Measuring Poverty," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 25(4), pages 429-39, December.
  25. Takayama, Noriyuki, 1979. "Poverty, Income Inequality, and Their Measures: Professor Sen's Axiomatic Approach Reconsidered," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 747-59, May.
  26. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  27. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1978. "Measures of relative equality and their meaning in terms of social welfare," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 59-80, June.
  28. Donaldson, David & Weymark, John A., 1980. "A single-parameter generalization of the Gini indices of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 67-86, February.
  29. Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975.
  30. Mehran, Farhad, 1976. "Linear Measures of Income Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 805-09, July.
  31. Jean-Yves Duclos, 2000. "Gini Indices and the Redistribution of Income," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 141-162, March.
  32. Jenkins, Stephen P & Lambert, Peter J, 1997. "Three 'I's of Poverty Curves, with an Analysis of UK Poverty Trends," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 317-27, July.
  33. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:93:y:1979:i:2:p:321-24 is not listed on IDEAS
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