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Where Did Identification Go?

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  • Sabina Alkire and James Foster

Abstract

Multidimensional measures provide an alternative lens through which poverty may be viewed and understood. In recent work we have attempted to offer a practical approach to identifying the poor and measuring aggregate poverty (Alkire and Foster 2011). As this is quite a departure from traditional unidimensional and multidimensional poverty measurement - particularly with respect to the identification step - further elaboration may be warranted. In this paper we elucidate the strengths, limitations, and misunderstandings of multidimensional poverty measurement in order to clarify the debate and catalyse further research. We begin with general definitions of unidimensional and multidimensional methodologies for measuring poverty. We provide an intuitive description of our measurement approach, including a “dual cutoff” identification step that views poverty as the state of being multiply deprived, and an aggregation step based on the traditional Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT) measures. We briefly discuss five characteristics of our methodology that are easily overlooked or mistaken and conclude with some brief remarks on the way forward.

Suggested Citation

  • Sabina Alkire and James Foster, 2011. "Where Did Identification Go?," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp043b, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:qeh:ophiwp:ophiwp043b
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sabina Alkire and Maria Emma Santos, "undated". "Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp038, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    2. Alkire, Sabina & Foster, James, 2011. "Counting and multidimensional poverty measurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 476-487.
    3. Sabina Alkire & James Foster, 2011. "Understandings and misunderstandings of multidimensional poverty measurement," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(2), pages 289-314, June.
    4. Martin Ravallion, 2011. "On multidimensional indices of poverty," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(2), pages 235-248, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. José Roche, 2013. "Monitoring Progress in Child Poverty Reduction: Methodological Insights and Illustration to the Case Study of Bangladesh," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 112(2), pages 363-390, June.
    2. Nicolai Suppa, 2017. "Transitions in Poverty and Deprivations: An Analysis of Multidimensional Poverty Dynamics," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 894, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Robano, Virginia & Smith, Stephen C., 2013. "Multidimensional Targeting and Evaluation: A General Framework with an Application to a Poverty Program in Bangladesh," IZA Discussion Papers 7593, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Rolf Aaberge & Andrea Brandolini, 2014. "Multidimensional poverty and inequality," Discussion Papers 792, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    5. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1365-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Wulung Hanandita & Gindo Tampubolon, 2016. "Multidimensional Poverty in Indonesia: Trend Over the Last Decade (2003–2013)," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(2), pages 559-587, September.
    7. Suman Seth & Antonio Villar, 2014. "Human Development, Inequality and Poverty: empirical findings," Working Papers 14.11, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    8. KASRI, RAHMATINA & Ahmed, Habib, 2015. "Assessing Socio-Economic Development based on Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah Principles: Normative Frameworks, Methods and Implementation in Indonesia," Islamic Economic Studies, The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), vol. 23, pages 73-100.
    9. Alkire, Sabina & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth & Peterman, Amber & Quisumbing, Agnes & Seymour, Greg & Vaz, Ana, 2013. "The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 71-91.
    10. Nowak, Daniel & Scheicher, Christoph, 2014. "Considering the extremely poor: Multidimensional poverty measurement for Germany," Discussion Papers in Econometrics and Statistics 02/14, University of Cologne, Institute of Econometrics and Statistics.
    11. Alkire, Sabina & Santos, Maria Emma, 2014. "Measuring Acute Poverty in the Developing World: Robustness and Scope of the Multidimensional Poverty Index," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 251-274.
    12. Permanyer, Iñaki, 2014. "Assessing individuals' deprivation in a multidimensional framework," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 1-16.
    13. Alkire, Sabina & Roche, José Manuel & Vaz, Ana, 2017. "Changes Over Time in Multidimensional Poverty: Methodology and Results for 34 Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 232-249.
    14. repec:ris:isecst:0169 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Maria Emma Santos, 2014. "Measuring Multidimensional Poverty in Latin America: Previous Experience and the Way Forward," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp066, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    16. Sabina Alkire & Maria Santos, 2013. "A Multidimensional Approach: Poverty Measurement & Beyond," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 112(2), pages 239-257, June.
    17. Stefano Barbieri & Sean Higgins, 2016. "The Political Economy of Antipoverty Spending and Poverty Measurement," Working Papers 1604, Tulane University, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2017.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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