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Defining and Measuring (Extreme) Poverty


  • Paul Makdissi

    () (Département d'économique, Université de Sherbrooke)

  • Quentin Wodon

    () (AFTPM, World Bank)


An axiomatic approach is used to propose a measure of extreme poverty which is not only multidimensional in nature, but also recognizes the fact that there are interaction effects between different deprivations, and that the length of time during which deprivations are felt may also have a negative impact on household well-being. The proposed definition of extreme poverty formalizes an approach developed by Joseph Wresinski, the founder of the International Movement ATD Fourth World.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Makdissi & Quentin Wodon, 2001. "Defining and Measuring (Extreme) Poverty," Cahiers de recherche 04-05, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke, revised 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:shr:wpaper:04-05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chakravarty, Satya R., 1983. "A new index of poverty," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 307-313, December.
    2. 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.
    3. Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975, June.
    4. Woden, Q., 2001. "Attacking Extreme Poverty. Learning from the Experience of the International Movement ATD Fourth World," Papers 502, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    5. Joseph G. Hirschberg & Esfandiar Maasoumi & Daniel J. Slottje, 2001. "Clusters of attributes and well-being in the USA," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 445-460.
    6. Foster, James E & Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1991. "Subgroup Consistent Poverty Indices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 687-709, May.
    7. Kai-yuen Tsui, 2002. "Multidimensional poverty indices," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 19(1), pages 69-93.
    8. Indranil Dutta & Prasanta K. Pattanaik & Yongsheng Xu, 2003. "On Measuring Deprivation and the Standard of Living in a Multidimensional Framework on the Basis of Aggregate Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(278), pages 197-221, May.
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    More about this item


    Deprivation; Multidimensional Welfare; Chronic Poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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