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Measurement of Low Incomes and Poverty in A Perspective of International Comparisons

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  • Michael F. Förster

Abstract

During the past two decades, issues such as insufficient resources among particular populations, relative and absolute low incomes and poverty have occupied a prominent place in social policy research in many OECD countries. However, many different concepts have been used in the literature to define and measure ’low income’ or ’poverty’ across and within Member countries. This paper analyses alternative approaches to quantifying these concepts for the explicit purpose of international comparisons. It uses micro data sets on income from the Luxembourg Income Study for 13 OECD countries, for the mid- to the end of the 1980s, to illustrate the issues. In Chapter II, the three main approaches used in the literature for defining low income and poverty - the absolute, relative and subjective approach - are discussed in detail. Chapter III discusses ways to adjust disposable income for family size and presents sensitivity tests using different equivalence scales. Chapter IV presents more ... Durant ces quelque vingt dernières années, des questions telles que l'insuffisance de ressources de certaines catégories de populations, les bas revenus relatifs ou absolus, et la pauvreté ont occupé une place importante dans la recherche en matière de politiques sociales. Or, il existe une vaste palette de concepts différents utilisés pour définir et mesurer 'bas revenus' et 'pauvreté' d'un pays de l'OCDE à l'autre. Cette étude analyse des approches susceptibles d'appréhender ces phénomènes dans un cadre de comparaison internationale. Pour ce faire, elle utilise des données micro-économiques sur les revenus de la "Luxembourg Income Study" pour treize pays Membres, couvrant la période du milieu jusqu'à la fin des années 80. Le chapitre II discute en détail les trois concepts principaux servant à définir les bas revenus et la pauvreté: les approches dites absolue, relative et subjective. Le chapitre III décrit différentes méthodes d'ajustement du revenu disponible selon la taille de ...

Suggested Citation

  • Michael F. Förster, 1994. "Measurement of Low Incomes and Poverty in A Perspective of International Comparisons," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 14, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaaa:14-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/112854878327
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    1. Leonardo Gasparini & Leopoldo Tornarolli, 2015. "A review of the OECD Income Distribution Database," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 13(4), pages 579-602, December.
    2. Pascal Petit, 1999. "Sectoral Patterns of Distribution in Slowly Growing Economies: The case of nine OECD countries in the 1980s and 1990s," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 333-351.
    3. Kraus, Margit & Hölsch, Katja, 2003. "Poverty Alleviation and the Degree of Centralisation in European Schemes of Social Assistance," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-16, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Saito, Masashige & Kondo, Naoki & Kondo, Katsunori & Ojima, Toshiyuki & Hirai, Hiroshi, 2012. "Gender differences on the impacts of social exclusion on mortality among older Japanese: AGES cohort study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(5), pages 940-945.
    5. Whitehouse, Edward, 2000. "How Poor are the Old? A Survey of Evidence from 44 Countries," MPRA Paper 14177, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Katja Hoelsch & Margit Kraus, 2003. "Poverty Alleviation and the Degree of Centralisation in European Schemes of Social Assistance," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 219/2003, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
    7. Mladovsky, Philipa & Soors, Werner & Ndiaye, Pascal & Ndiaye, Alfred & Criel, Bart, 2014. "Can social capital help explain enrolment (or lack thereof) in community-based health insurance? Results of an exploratory mixed methods study from Senegal," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 18-27.
    8. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 2001. "Cross-country comparisons of pensioners’ incomes," MPRA Paper 16345, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Thiele, Silke, 2001. "Ausgaben- und Preiselastizitäten der Nahrungsmittelnachfrage auf Basis von Querschnittsdaten: Eine Systemschätzung für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 50(2).
    10. Mladovsky, Philipa, 2014. "Why do people drop out of community-based health insurance?: findings from an exploratory household survey in Senegal," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55820, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Frahan, Bruno Henry de & Nkunzimana, Tharcisse & De Blander, Rembert & Gaspart, Frederic & Sumner, Daniel A., 2008. "Farm Household Incomes And Reforming The Cap," 109th Seminar, November 20-21, 2008, Viterbo, Italy 44814, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. Mladovsky, Philipa, 2014. "Why do people drop out of community-based health insurance? Findings from an exploratory household survey in Senegal," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 78-88.
    13. Salverda, Wiemer & Checchi, Daniele, 2014. "Labour-Market Institutions and the Dispersion of Wage Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 8220, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Thiele, Silke, 2008. "Elastizitäten der Nachfrage privater Haushalte nach Nahrungsmitteln – Schätzung eines AIDS auf Basis der Einkommens- und Verbrauchsstichprobe 2003," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 57(5).

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