Does it matter that we don't agree on the definition of poverty? A comparison of four approaches
While there is worldwide agreement on poverty reduction as an overriding goal of development policy, there is little agreement on the definition of poverty. The paper reviews four approaches to the definition and measurement of poverty - the monetary, capability, social exclusion and participatory approaches. It points out the theoretical underpinnings of the various measures, and problems of operationalising them. It argues that each is a construction of reality, involving numerous judgements, which are often not transparent. The different methods have different implications for policy, and also, to the extent that they point to different people as being poor, for targeting. Empirical work in Peru and India shows that there is significant lack of overlap between the methods with, for example, nearly half the population identified as in poverty according to monetary poverty not in capability poverty, and conversely. This confirms similar findings elsewhere. Hence the definition of poverty does matter for poverty eradication strategies.
|Date of creation:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Queen Elizabeth House 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB United Kingdom|
Phone: +44 (1865) 281800
Fax: +44 (1865) 281801
Web page: http://www.qeh.ox.ac.uk/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cornia, Giovanni Andrea & Jolly, Richard & Stewart, Frances (ed.), 1987. "Adjustment with a Human Face: Volume 1, Protecting the Vulnerable and Promoting Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286097.
- Micklewright, John, 2002.
"Social exclusion and children: a European view for a US debate,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
6430, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- John Micklewright, 2002. "Social Exclusion and Children: A European view for a US debate," CASE Papers case51, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
- John Micklewright, 2002. "Social Exclusion and Children: A European view for a US debate," Papers inwopa02/19, Innocenti Working Papers.
- Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
- Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001. "Growth is good for the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2587, The World Bank.
- Miguel Szekely & Nora Lustig & Martin Cumpa & Jose Antonio Mejia, 2004. "Do we know how much poverty there is?," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 523-558.
- Miguel Székely & Nora Lustig & Martin Cumpa & José Antonio Mejía-Guerra, 2000. "Do We Know How Much Poverty There Is?," Research Department Publications 4239, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Szekely, Miguel & Lustig, Nora & Cumpa, Martin & Antonio Mejia, Jose, 2000. "Do we know how much poverty there is?," Working Papers 244243, Inter-American Development Bank.
- Ravallion, M., 1998. "Poverty Lines in Theory and Practice," Papers 133, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
- Alkire, Sabina, 2005. "Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199283316.
- Alkire, Sabina, 2002. "Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199245796.
- Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
- Caterina Ruggeri Laderchi, "undated". "The Monetary Approach to Poverty: A Survey of Concepts and Methods," QEH Working Papers qehwps58, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
- Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-231, March.
- Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Why Have Some Indian States Done Better Than Others at Reducing Rural Poverty?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 17-38, February.
- Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Why have some Indian states done better than others at reducing rural poverty?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1594, The World Bank.
- Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975.
- Caterina Ruggeri Laderchi, 1997. "Poverty and its many dimensions: The role of income as an indicator," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 345-360.
- Lipton, M., 1988. "The Poor And The Poorest," World Bank - Discussion Papers 25, World Bank. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qeh:qehwps:qehwps107. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rachel Crawford)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.