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Empirical Issues in Lifetime Poverty Measurement

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  • Hoy, Michael
  • Scott B., Thompson
  • Zheng, Buhong

Abstract

This paper demonstrates the implications of adopting an approach to measuring poverty that takes into account the lifetime experience of individuals rather than simply taking a static or cross-sectional perspective. Our approach follows the theoretical innovations in Hoy and Zheng (2008) which address various aspects of the specific pattern of any poverty spells experienced by an individual as well as a possible retrospective consideration that an individual might have concerning his life experience as a whole. For an individual, our perspective of lifetime poverty is influenced by both the snapshot poverty of each period and the poverty level of the permanent lifetime consumption; it is also influenced by how poverty spells are distributed over the lifetime. Using PSID data for the US, we demonstrate empirically the power of alternative axioms concerning how lifetime poverty should be measured when making pairwise comparisons of individual lifetime profiles of consumption (income) experiences. We also demonstrate the importance of taking a lifetime view of poverty in comparing poverty between groups by use of the classic FGT ‘snapshot’ poverty index in conjunction with period weighting functions that explicitly reflect concerns about the pattern of poverty spells over individuals’ lifetimes.

Suggested Citation

  • Hoy, Michael & Scott B., Thompson & Zheng, Buhong, 2010. "Empirical Issues in Lifetime Poverty Measurement," WIDER Working Paper Series 073, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2010-73
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    File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/wp2010-73.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jyotsna Jalan & Martin Ravallion, 2000. "Is transient poverty different? Evidence for rural China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 82-99.
    2. Cesar Calvo & Stefan Dercon, 2007. "Chronic Poverty and All That: The Measurement of Poverty over Time," CSAE Working Paper Series 2007-04, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Hoy, Michael & Zheng, Buhong, 2011. "Measuring lifetime poverty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2544-2562.
    4. Zheng, Buhong, 1997. " Aggregate Poverty Measures," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 123-162, June.
    5. Grimm, Michael & Gräb, Johannes, 2007. "Robust Multiperiod Poverty Comparisons," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Göttingen 2007 8, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    6. Zheng, Buhong, 2000. " Poverty Orderings," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 427-466, September.
    7. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    8. Joan R. Rodgers & John L. Rodgers, 1993. "Chronic Poverty in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 25-54.
    9. David Clark & David Hulme, 2010. "Poverty, time and vagueness: integrating the core poverty and chronic poverty frameworks," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(2), pages 347-366, March.
    10. Arranz, José Maria & Cantó, Olga, 2010. "Measuring the Effect of Spell Recurrence on Poverty Dynamics," WIDER Working Paper Series 072, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Walter Bossert & Lidia Ceriani & Satya R. Chakravarty & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2012. "Intertemporal Material Deprivation," Cahiers de recherche 07-2012, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    2. Marchand, J. & Smeeding, T., 2016. "Poverty and Aging," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
      • Marchand, Joseph & Smeeding, Timothy, 2016. "Poverty and Aging," Working Papers 2016-11, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 20 Nov 2016.
    3. Garcia-Diaz Rocio & Prudencio Daniel, 2015. "On the Dynamics of Multidimensional Chronic Poverty," WIDER Working Paper Series 016, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Florent Bresson & Jean-Yves Duclos, 2015. "Intertemporal poverty comparisons," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 44(3), pages 567-616, March.
    5. José Arranz & Olga Cantó, 2012. "Measuring the effect of spell recurrence on poverty dynamics—evidence from Spain," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 10(2), pages 191-217, June.
    6. Sabina Alkire, Mauricio Apablaza, Satya R. Chakravarty and Gaston Yalonetzky, 2014. "Measuring Chronic Multidimensional Poverty: A Counting Approach," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp075, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    7. Jing You & Sangui Wang & Laurence Roope, 2014. "Multi-dimensional Intertemporal Poverty in Rural China," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-36, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lifetime poverty; snapshot poverty; chronic poverty; early poverty; poverty measurement;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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