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

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  • Haider A. Khan

    (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Haider A. Khan, 2004. "On Mortality and Poverty: An Axiomatic Approach With A Modified Index," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-281, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2004cf281
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    File URL: http://www.cirje.e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/research/dp/2004/2004cf281.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Satya Chakravarty & Ravi Kanbur & Diganta Mukherjee, 2006. "Population growth and poverty measurement," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 26(3), pages 471-483, June.
    2. Kaushik Basu, 2003. "Analytical Development Economics: The Less Developed Economy Revisited," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262523442, January.
    3. Ravi Kanbur & Diganta Mukherjee, 2007. "Premature Mortality And Poverty Measurement," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 339-359, October.
    4. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-231, March.
    5. Kanbur, Ravi, 2004. "Growth, Inequality And Poverty: Some Hard Questions," Working Papers 127133, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
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