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Social Groups and Economic Poverty: A Problem in Measurement

Author

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  • Subramanian, S.

Abstract

This paper points to some elementary conflicts between the claims of interpersonal and intergroup justice as they manifest themselves in the process of seeking a real-valued index of poverty which is required to satisfy certain seemingly desirable properties. It indicates how ?group-sensitive? poverty measures, similar to the Anand-Sen (1995) ?Gender Adjusted Human Development Index? and the Subramanian-Majumdar (2002) ?Group-Disparity Adjusted Deprivation Index?, may be constructed. Some properties of a specific ?group-sensitive? poverty index are appraised, and the advantage of having a ?flexible? measure which is capable of effecting a tradeoff between the claims of interpersonal and inter-group equality is spelt out. The implications of directly incorporating group disparities into the measurement of poverty for poverty comparisons and anti-poverty policy are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Subramanian, S., 2004. "Social Groups and Economic Poverty: A Problem in Measurement," WIDER Working Paper Series 059, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2004-59
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    File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/rp2004-059.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Amiel, Yoram & Cowell, Frank, 1994. "Monotonicity, dominance and the Pareto principle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 447-450, August.
    2. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-764, July.
    3. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    4. François BOURGUIGNON & Gary S. FIELDS, 1990. "Poverty Measures and Anti-Poverty Policy," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1990038, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    5. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-231, March.
    6. Keen, Michael, 1992. "Needs and Targeting," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(410), pages 67-79, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chiappero-Martinetti, Enrica & Civardi, Marisa, 2006. "Measuring poverty within and between population subgroups," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-06, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.

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