A Counting Approach for Measuring Multidimensional Deprivation
This paper is concerned with the problem of ranking and quantifying the extent of deprivation exhibited by multidimensional distributions, where the multiple attributes in which an individual can be deprived are represented by dichotomized variables. To this end we first aggregate deprivation for each individual into a “deprivation count” indicating the number of dimensions for which the individual suffers from deprivation. Then we compare distributions of deprivation counts through summary measures of deprivation, by drawing on the rank-dependent social evaluation framework (Sen 1974, Yaari 1987). This approach proves to allow decomposition of the summary measures into extent of and dispersion in the distribution of multiple deprivations. To provide a normative justification of the proposed deprivation measures, an intervention principle affecting the association between the different deprivation indicators is adopted. Moreover, we introduce a family of measures of concentration in the distribution of deprivation experienced by the population. Concentration is defined to occur if dispersion in the observed distribution of deprivation is higher than the dispersion attained when the single deprivation indicators are treated as independent random variables, under the constraint of unchanged marginal distributions.
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