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A sensitivity analysis of poverty definitions


  • Nicholas T. Longford

    () (SNTL and Departament d’Economia i Empresa, Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

  • Catia Nicodemo

    () (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)


We conduct a sensitivity analysis of several estimators related to household income, to explore how some details of the definitions of the variables concerned influence the values of the common estimates, such as the mean, median and (poverty) rates. The purpose of this study is to highlight that some of the operational definitions entail an element of arbitrariness which leaves an undesirable stamp on the inferences made. The analyses use both a cross-sectional and a longitudinal (panel) component of the EU-SILC database.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas T. Longford & Catia Nicodemo, 2009. "A sensitivity analysis of poverty definitions," Working Papers wpdea0908, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  • Handle: RePEc:uab:wprdea:wpdea0908

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jitka Bartošová & Nicholas T. Longford, 2014. "A Study of Income Stability in the Czech Republic by Finite Mixtures," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2014(3), pages 330-348.
    2. Verme, Paolo, 2009. "Happiness, Deprivation and the Alter Ego," IRISS Working Paper Series 2009-18, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.

    More about this item


    EU-SILC database; poverty rate; sampling weights;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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