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Concepts and Measures of Agency

  • Sabina Alkire

This paper proposes a new methodology for multidimensional poverty measurement consisting of: (i) an identification method ?k that extends the traditional intersection and union approaches, and (ii) a class of poverty measures M? that satisfies a range of desirable properties including decomposability. Our identification step makes use of two forms of cutoffs: first, a cutoff within each dimension to determine whether a person is deprived in that dimension; second, a cutoff across dimensions that identifies the poor by counting the number of dimensions in which a person is deprived. The aggregation step employs the FGT measures, appropriately adjusted to account for multidimensionality. The identification method is particularly well suited for use with ordinal data, as is the first of our measures, the adjusted headcount ratio. We provide illustrative examples using data from Indonesia and the US to show how our methodology might be used in practice.

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Paper provided by Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford in its series OPHI Working Papers with number ophiwp010.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:qeh:ophiwp:ophiwp010
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  1. Marianne Hill, 2003. "Development As Empowerment," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 117-135.
  2. Abigail Barr & David Clark, 2007. "A Multidimensional Analysis of Adaptation in a Developing Country Context," CSAE Working Paper Series 2007-19, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2000. "Identifying welfare effects from subjective questions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2301, The World Bank.
  4. Mark McGillivray, 2005. "Measuring Non-Economic Well-Being Achievement ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(2), pages 337-364, 06.
  5. Qizilbash, M., 1996. "The concept of well-being," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9634, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  6. Robert Cummins, 1996. "The domains of life satisfaction: An attempt to order chaos," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 303-328, January.
  7. Alsop, Ruth & Heinsohn, Nina, 2005. "Measuring empowerment in practice: structuring analysis and framing indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3510, The World Bank.
  8. Frances Stewart, 2005. "Groups and Capabilities," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 185-204.
  9. Mozaffar Qizilbash, 1997. "A weakness of the capability approach with respect to gender justice," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(2), pages 251-262.
  10. Des Gasper & Irene van Staveren, 2003. "DEVELOPMENT AS FREEDOM v - v AND AS WHAT ELSE?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 137-161.
  11. Richard Cookson, 2005. "QALYs and the capability approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(8), pages 817-829.
  12. Gibson, Christopher & Woolcock, Michael, 2005. "Empowerment and local level conflict mediation in Indonesia : a comparative analysis of concepts, measures, and project efficacy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3713, The World Bank.
  13. Mozaffar Qizilbash, 1996. "Capabilities, well-being and human development: A survey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 143-162.
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