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A Dynamic Multidimensional Measure of Poverty

  • Aaron Nicholas
  • Ranjan Ray
  • Kompal Sinha

This paper unites two strands of the literature on subgroup decomposable poverty measurement originating from Foster, Greer and Thorbecke (1984) by incorporating information on both multiple dimensions and multiple periods. This generalises the Alkire and Foster (2011a) measure into a dynamic setting. In doing so, it introduces two variants of the ‘transfer’ axiom: one that gives increasing weight to individuals whose deprivations are concentrated as repeated dimensions in a specific period (what we term ‘breadth’) versus one that gives increasing weight to individuals whose deprivations are concentrated as repeated periods in a specific dimension (‘depth’). The measure is able to differentiate between both aspects of poverty as well as quantify the relative contribution of each aspect towards overall poverty. This makes it well suited to make comparison across subgroups when individual longitudinal data is available as well as allowing policy-makers to quickly identify if the breadth or depth aspect requires more attention since the policy prescriptions for each may differ. We apply the proposed measure to longitudinal data from China and Indonesia where we find that the depth aspect of poverty is a large contributor to individual level poverty. The existing static framework of multidimensional poverty in the literature may therefore be inappropriate for subgroup comparisons when information over time is available.

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Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 25-13.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2013-25
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia
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  1. Bourguignon, F. & Chakravarty, S.R., 1998. "The Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty," DELTA Working Papers 98-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. Aaron Nicholas & Ranjan Ray, 2012. "Duration and Persistence in Multidimensional Deprivation: Methodology and Australian Application," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(280), pages 106-126, 03.
  3. Walter Bossert & Satya R. Chakravarty & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2013. "Multidimensional Poverty and Material Deprivation with Discrete Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 59(1), pages 29-43, 03.
  4. Carlos Gradín & Coral Del Río & Olga Cantó, 2012. "Measuring Poverty Accounting For Time," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(2), pages 330-354, 06.
  5. Michael Hoy & Buhong Zheng, 2008. "Measuring Lifetime Poverty," Working Papers 0814, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  6. Walter Bossert & Satya Chakravarty & Conchita D’Ambrosio, 2012. "Poverty and time," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 145-162, June.
    • BOSSERT, Walter & CHAKRAVARTY, Satya R. & D’AMBROSIO, Conchita, 2008. "Poverty and Time," Cahiers de recherche 2008-05, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    • Walter Bossert & Satya R. Chakravarty & Conchita D’Ambrosio, 2008. "Poverty and Time," Working Papers 87, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    • Bossert, Walter & Chakravarty, Satya R. & d’Ambrosio, Conchita, 2010. "Poverty and Time," Working Paper Series wp2010-74, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    • BOSSERT, Walter & CHAKRAVARTY, Satya R. & D’AMBROSIO, Conchita, 2008. "Poverty and Time," Cahiers de recherche 05-2008, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  7. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  8. Manimay Sengupta, 2009. "Unemployment duration and the measurement of unemployment," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 273-294, September.
  9. Jean-Yves Duclos & Abdelkrim Araaryand & John Giles, 2006. "Chronic and Transient Poverty: Measurement and Estimation, with Evidence from China," Working Papers 35, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  10. Satya R. Chakravarty & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2006. "The Measurement Of Social Exclusion," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(3), pages 377-398, 09.
  11. Kai-yuen Tsui, 2002. "Multidimensional poverty indices," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 69-93.
  12. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  13. Walter Bossert & Conchita D'Ambrosio & Vito Peragine, 2007. "Deprivation and Social Exclusion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 777-803, November.
  14. Cesar Calvo & Stefan Dercon, 2007. "Chronic Poverty and All That: The Measurement of Poverty over Time," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2007-04, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  15. Gaurav Datt, 2013. "Making every dimension count: multidimensional poverty without the “dual cut offâ€," Monash Economics Working Papers 32-13, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  16. Hojman, Daniel & Kast, Felipe, 2009. "On the Measurement of Poverty Dynamics," Working Paper Series rwp09-035, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  17. Sabina Alkire and James Foster, 2011. "Understandings and Misunderstandings of Multidimensional Poverty Measurement," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp043, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  18. Alkire, Sabina & Foster, James, 2011. "Counting and multidimensional poverty measurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 476-487.
  19. A. Atkinson, 2003. "Multidimensional Deprivation: Contrasting Social Welfare and Counting Approaches," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 51-65, April.
  20. Ray, Ranjan & Mishra, Ankita, 2012. "Multi-dimensional deprivation in the awakening giants: A comparison of China and India on micro data," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 454-465.
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