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Absolute poverty lines

Author

Listed:
  • Channing Arndt
  • Kristi Mahrt
  • Finn Tarp

Abstract

Private consumption capabilities form only one facet of comprehensive living standards assessments, but they are an important facet whose measurement should be done well. Measurement is complex due to a multitude of methodological choices, which often interact with imperfect data and a desire for comparability through time. This paper outlines ideas underpinning these choices with particular attention to the tensions between consistency and specificity. We also highlight a series of limitations associated with typical cost of basic needs approaches. Finally, we reaffirm that a ‘sensibly eclectic’ approach, employing multiple methods, is the best available mode for addressing these limitations.

Suggested Citation

  • Channing Arndt & Kristi Mahrt & Finn Tarp, 2016. "Absolute poverty lines," WIDER Working Paper Series 008, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2016-008
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    File URL: https://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/wp2016-8.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Datt, Gaurav & Jolliffe, Dean, 2005. "Poverty in Egypt: Modeling and Policy Simulations," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 327-346, January.
    2. Hina Nazli & Edward Whitney & Kristi Mahrt, 2015. "Poverty trends in Pakistan," WIDER Working Paper Series 136, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Channing Arndt & Kenneth R. Simler, 2007. "Consistent poverty comparisons and inference," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 37(2-3), pages 133-139, September.
    4. Mukherjee, Sanjukta & Benson, Todd, 2003. "The Determinants of Poverty in Malawi, 1998," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 339-358, February.
    5. Martin Ravallion & Michael Lokshin, 2006. "Testing Poverty Lines," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(3), pages 399-421, September.
    6. Ravallion, Martin, 2016. "The Economics of Poverty: History, Measurement, and Policy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780190212773.
    7. Tarp, Finn, et al, 2002. "The Robustness of Poverty Profiles Reconsidered," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 77-108, October.
    8. Thorbecke, Erik, 2004. "Conceptual and Measurement Issues in Poverty Analysis," WIDER Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Gibson, John & Rozelle, Scott, 2003. "Poverty and Access to Roads in Papua New Guinea," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 159-185, October.
    10. Quentin Wodon, 1997. "Food energy intake and cost of basic needs: Measuring poverty in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 66-101.
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    Keywords

    poverty measurement; utility consistency; cost of basic needs;

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