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(Re)Counting the poor in Peru: a multidimensional approach

  • Castro, Juan F.
  • Baca, Jessica
  • Ocampo, Juan P.

After an impressive 12 point reduction in Peruvian monetary poverty, questions have been raised about the extent in which these figures mask deprivation in several other aspects critical for human development. We propose using the Alkire-Foster multidimensional headcount to address this issue, and devise a simple comparison framework to measure the tension between the incidence of monetary poverty and the overall level of deprivation based on the multidimensional measure. We select six dimensions and their respective indicators for the Peruvian case, and apply this framework using data for 2004 and 2008. Results indicate that we now face a larger risk of classifying as non-poor individuals who still endure significant deprivation if we rely on the conventional monetary dimension. In addition, inter and intraregional comparisons show that deprivations endured by the multidimensional poor are similar across regions and concentrated on the health and dwelling conditions dimensions, in particular, on the lack of adequate water and sanitation services. This last result reveals an opportunity to focalize public investment efforts.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 21977.

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Date of creation: 15 Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21977
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  1. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  2. Diego Battiston & Guillermo Cruces & Luis Felipe Lopez Calva & Maria Ana Lugo & Maria Emma Santos, 2009. "Income and Beyond: Multidimensional Poverty in six Latin American countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0090, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  3. Escobal, J. & Ponce, C., 2008. "Dinámicas Provinciales de Pobreza en el Perú 1993 - 2005," Working papers 011, Rimisp Latin American Center for Rural Development.
  4. Alkire, Sabina & Foster, James, 2011. "Counting and multidimensional poverty measurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 476-487, August.
  5. Chakravarty, Satya R., 1983. "A new index of poverty," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 307-313, December.
  6. Arie Kapteyn & Sara van de Geer & Huib van de Stadt, 1985. "The Impact of Changes in Income and Family Composition on Subjective Measures of Well-Being," NBER Chapters, in: Horizontal Equity, Uncertainty, and Economic Well-Being, pages 35-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gustavo Yamada & Juan Castro, 2007. "Poverty, inequality, and social policies in Peru: As poor as it gets," Working Papers 07-06, Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico, revised Feb 2007.
  8. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-64, July.
  9. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  10. Juan Castro, 2006. "Política fiscal y gasto social en el Perú: Cuánto se ha avanzado y qué más se puede hacer para reducir la vulnerabilidad de los hogares," Working Papers 06-05, Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico, revised Jul 2006.
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