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Counting and Multidimensional Poverty Measurement (Revised and Updated)

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  • Sabina Alkire and James E. Foster

Abstract

This paper proposes a new methodology for multidimensional poverty measurement consisting of an identification method ρk that extends the traditional intersection and union approaches, and a class of poverty measures Ma. Our identification step employs two forms of cutoff: one within each dimension to determine whether a person is deprived in that dimension, and a second across dimensions that identifies the poor by “counting” the dimensions in which a person is deprived. The aggregation step employs the FGT measures, appropriately adjusted to account for multidimensionality. The axioms are presented as joint restrictions on identification and the measures, and the methodology satisfies a range of desirable properties including decomposability. The identification method is particularly well suited for use with ordinal data, as is the first of our measures, the adjusted headcount ratio. We present some dominance results and an interpretation of the adjusted headcount ratio as a measure of unfreedom. Examples from the US and Indonesia illustrate our methodology.

Suggested Citation

  • Sabina Alkire and James E. Foster, 2009. "Counting and Multidimensional Poverty Measurement (Revised and Updated)," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp032, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:qeh:ophiwp:ophiwp032
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    File URL: http://workingpapers.qeh.ox.ac.uk/pdf/ophiwp/OPHIWP032.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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, September.
    3. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-764, July.
    4. Alkire, Sabina, 2002. "Dimensions of Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 181-205, February.
    5. Atkinson, Tony & Cantillon, Bea & Marlier, Eric & Nolan, Brian, 2002. "Social Indicators: The EU and Social Inclusion," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199253494.
    6. François Bourguignon & Satya Chakravarty, 2003. "The Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 1(1), pages 25-49, April.
    7. Joseph Deutsch & Jacques Silber, 2005. "Measuring Multidimensional Poverty: An Empirical Comparison Of Various Approaches," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(1), pages 145-174, March.
    8. Calvo, Cesar, 2008. "Vulnerability to Multidimensional Poverty: Peru, 1998-2002," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1011-1020, June.
    9. Allison, R. Andrew & Foster, James E., 2004. "Measuring health inequality using qualitative data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 505-524, May.
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