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On Mortality and Poverty: An Axiomatic Approach With A Modified Index

  • Haider A. Khan

    (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)

The purpose of this note is to analyze a somewhat novel aspect of poverty measurement, namely the impact of premature deaths of poor people on measured poverty. The perverse results one could easily obtain theoretically can be illustrated by using the widely used headcount ratio index. The proposal for a correction offered here involves the introduction of a new axiom of biological stress (ABS) to handle the case of premature mortality among the poor specifically, and to address the issue of increasing biological stress generally. A new headcount ratio index adjusted for the specific biological stress leading to premature deaths among the poor is constructed. It is simple, consistent with ABS, and easy to estimate. It is hoped that given the relevance of the critical demographic variables already acknowledged in the literature, the new index will be of use to the poverty reduction specialists.

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File URL: http://www.cirje.e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/research/dp/2004/2004cf281.pdf
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Paper provided by CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo in its series CIRJE F-Series with number CIRJE-F-281.

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Length: 9 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2004cf281
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  1. Kaushik Basu, 2003. "Analytical Development Economics: The Less Developed Economy Revisited," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262523442, June.
  2. Chakravarty, Satya R. & Kanbur, Ravi & Mukherjee, Diganta, 2002. "Population Growth and Poverty Measurement," Working Papers 127303, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  3. Kanbur, Ravi, 2004. "Growth, Inequality And Poverty: Some Hard Questions," Working Papers 127133, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  4. Kanbur, Ravi & Mukherjee, Diganta, 2003. "Premature Mortality And Poverty Measurement," Working Papers 127197, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  5. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
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