, Volume 102, Issue 3, pp 537-556
Date: 24 Oct 2010

Subjective Poverty and Its Relation to Objective Poverty Concepts in Hungary

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Abstract

The paper analyzes subjective poverty in Hungary and compares it to the objective poverty concepts. Subjective poverty is defined by examining who people consider to be poor. Based on the Easterlin paradox, the initial hypothesis states that subjective and absolute poverty concepts are highly correlated. Taking into account that Hungary is a developed country, subjective well-being is supposed to be associated not only with absolute, but also with relative deprivation. The methods of systematic data collection are used to collect data about the belief of the population. The paper concludes that low income level, Roma descent, entitlement to social supports and unemployment are the items thought to be most related to poverty by the informants. It proves that subjective poverty is a multidimensional concept. It also concludes that absolute and relative poverty thresholds coincide with the subjective one. It implies that increasing the absolute income level of individuals may not be enough to improve their subjective wellbeing as they are also concerned with their relative income position.