IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

On the utility consistency of poverty lines

  • Ravallion, Martin
  • Lokshin, Michael

Although poverty lines are widely used as deflators for inter-group welfare comparisons, their internal consistency is rarely given close scrutiny. A priori considerations suggest that commonly used methods cannot be relied on to yield poverty lines that are consistent in terms of utility, or for capabilities more generally. The theory of revealed preference offers testable implications of utility consistency for"poverty baskets"under homogeneous preferences. A case study of Russia's official poverty lines reveals numerous violations of revealed preference criteria-violations that are not solely attributable to heterogeneity in preferences associated with climatic differences.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3157.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3157
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Menno Pradhan & Martin Ravallion, 2000. "Measuring Poverty Using Qualitative Perceptions Of Consumption Adequacy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 462-471, August.
  2. 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.
  3. Ravallion, Martin & Sen, Binayak, 1996. "When Method Matters: Monitoring Poverty in Bangladesh," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(4), pages 761-92, July.
  4. Arie Kapteyn & Peter Kooreman & Rob Willemse, 1988. "Some Methodological Issues in the Implementation of Subjective Poverty Definitions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(2), pages 222-242.
  5. Ravallion, Martin & Bidani, Benu, 1994. "How Robust Is a Poverty Profile?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(1), pages 75-102, January.
  6. Paul, Satya, 1989. "A model of constructing the poverty line," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 129-144, January.
  7. Sen, Amartya, 1979. "The Welfare Basis of Real Income Comparisons: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 1-45, March.
  8. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1987. "Welfare ratios and distributionally sensitive cost-benefit analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 265-290, December.
  9. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762.
  10. Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1986. "A methodology for measuring food poverty applied to Kenya," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 59-74, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3157. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.