Child Poverty in Vietnam: Using Adult Equivalence Scales to Estimate Income-Poverty for Different Age Groups
Estimates of child poverty are based on the percentage of children living in poor households, which ignores the issue of intrahousehold allocation. It is commonly argued that the fact that data are collected at the household level means it is not possible to report figures relating to the number of children living in poverty. Yet analysts using income and expenditure data routinely make adjustments to these data which implicitly tell us exactly how much of household expenditure is going on each child. These adjustments are the use of adult equivalence scales. These scales give child consumption as a proportion of that of an adult male, and hence can be used to calculate child consumption shares. These scales may be estimated econometrically, and are hence based on intra-household allocation patterns for the households under study. Moreover, the scales can be estimated separately for different sub-samples of the population, allowing estimates of child poverty rates for different groups; for example how child poverty differs between boys and girls or for different ethnic groups. This paper presents such estimates in the case of Vietnam.
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