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A Multidimensional Analysis of Poverty in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa


  • Sarel van der Walt

    () (Department of Social Development)


This paper sets out the reasoning behind the fuzzy set approach to poverty measurement as a means to address both vertical and horizontal vagueness of poverty. The linear approach of Cerioli and Zani and the totally fuzzy and relative approach of Cheli and Lemmi are discussed and applied to the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, using data from Census 96. The results indicate different experiences of poverty in the Eastern Cape. It is shown that the traditional money metric approach does not accurately identify the most deprived in society, indicating the importance of other non-metric dimensions in poverty measurement.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarel van der Walt, 2004. "A Multidimensional Analysis of Poverty in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa," Working Papers 03/2004, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    2. Klasen, Stephan, 2000. "Measuring Poverty and Deprivation in South Africa," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 33-58, March.
    3. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-231, March.
    4. Myles, John & Picot, Garnett, 2000. "Poverty Indices and Policy Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(2), pages 161-179, June.
    5. Filippone, Andrea & Cheli, Bruno & D'Agostino, Antonella, 2001. "Addressing the interpretation and the aggregation problems in totally fuzzy and relative poverty measures," ISER Working Paper Series 2001-22, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    6. Blackburn, McKinley L, 1998. "The Sensitivity of International Poverty Comparisons," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(4), pages 449-472, December.
    7. Lars Osberg, 2000. "Poverty in Canada and the United States: measurement, trends, and implications," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 847-877, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leu, Chao-Hsien & Chen, Ke-Mei & Chen, Hsiu-Hui, 2016. "A multidimensional approach to child poverty in Taiwan," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 35-44.

    More about this item


    multidimensional poverty; deprivation; well being; vagueness; measurement; fuzzy;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • C49 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Other
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access


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