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Regional or National Poverty Lines? The Case of Uganda in the 1990s

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  • Appleton, Simon

Abstract

Absolute poverty lines are often derived from the cost of obtaining sufficient calories. Where staples vary across regions, such poverty lines may differ depending on whether they are set using national or regional food baskets. Regional poverty lines are open to the objection that they may be contaminated by income effects. This paper explores this issue by focusing on Uganda, a country where widening spatial inequalities in the 1990s have caused concern. Conflicting results from earlier studies have suggested that the spatial pattern of poverty in Uganda is very sensitive to whether national or regional food baskets are used in setting poverty lines. We confirm this suggestion by comparing the spatial profile of poverty in 1993 using national and regional poverty lines. However, since the regions consuming the more expensive staple sources of calories are also those with higher incomes, using simple regional poverty lines is problematic. Instead, a method of setting regional poverty lines is considered that adjusts for income differentials between regions. Even with this adjustment, the use of regional food baskets implies markedly different spatial profile of poverty in Uganda to the use of a national food basket. It is argued that a preference for regional or national poverty lines depends on how one conceives of welfare. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.
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  • Appleton, Simon, 2003. "Regional or National Poverty Lines? The Case of Uganda in the 1990s," WIDER Working Paper Series 090, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:dp2003-90
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. John Mackinnon & Ritva Reinikka, 2002. "How Research Can Assist Policy: The Case of Economic Reforms in Uganda," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 267-292, September.
    3. Lanjouw, Peter & Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Poverty and Household Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(433), pages 1415-1434, November.
    4. Kakwani, Nanak, 1993. "Statistical Inference in the Measurement of Poverty," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(4), pages 632-639, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5143 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:zbw:ifwkie:3715 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kappel, Robert & Lay, Jann & Steiner, Susan, 2004. "The Missing Links - Uganda's Economic Reforms and Pro-Poor Growth," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 3840, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Maurizio Bussolo & Olivier Godart & Jann Lay & Rainer Thiele, 2007. "The impact of coffee price changes on rural households in Uganda," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 37(2-3), pages 293-303, September.
    5. Kappel, Robert & Lay, Jann & Steiner, Susan, 2005. "Uganda: No more pro-poor growth?," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Kiel 2005 31, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    6. Isard Walter & An Jiyoun, 2004. "A Hierarchical Decision-Making Model for Progress in Reducing Three Evils: Terrorism, Poverty and Environmental Degradation," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(3), pages 1-22, December.
    7. Takahashi, Kazushi, 2016. "Mobile Phone Expansion, Informal Risk Sharing, and Consumption Smoothing: Evidence from Rural Uganda," MPRA Paper 75135, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Sandrine Mesplé-Somps & Charlotte Guénard, 2006. "Measuring Inequalities: Do The Surveys Give The Real Picture? Study Of Two Surveys In Cote D’Ivoire And Madagascar," Working Papers 18, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    9. Bjorn Van Campenhout & Haruna Sekabira & Fiona Nattembo, 2015. "Uganda - A new set of utility consistent poverty line," WIDER Working Paper Series 129, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Van Campenhout, Bjorn & Ssekabira, Haruna & Aduayom, Dede H., 2014. "Consumption bundle aggregation in poverty measurement: Implications for poverty and its dynamics in Uganda," WIDER Working Paper Series 150, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    Keywords

    Uganda; poverty; inequality;

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