The Journal of Economic Inequality

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 145-162

First online:

Poverty and time

  • Walter BossertAffiliated withDepartment of Economics and CIREQ, University of Montreal Email author 
  • , Satya R. ChakravartyAffiliated withIndian Statistical Institute
  • , Conchita D’AmbrosioAffiliated withUniversità di Milano-BicoccaDIW BerlinEconpubblica, Università Bocconi

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


We examine the measurement of individual poverty in an intertemporal context. Our aim is to capture the importance of persistence in a state of poverty and we characterize a corresponding individual intertemporal poverty measure. Our first axiom requires that intertemporal poverty is identical to static poverty in the degenerate single-period case. The remaining two properties express decomposability requirements within poverty spells and across spells in order to reflect the persistence issue. In addition, we axiomatize an aggregation procedure to obtain an intertemporal poverty measure for societies and we illustrate our new index with an application to EU countries.


Intertemporal poverty measurement Equity

JEL Classification