The Journal of Economic Inequality

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 235–248 | Cite as

On multidimensional indices of poverty

  • Martin RavallionEmail author


The contribution of recent “multidimensional indices of poverty” may not be as obvious as one thinks. There are two issues in assessing that contribution: whether one believes that a single index can ever be a sufficient statistic of poverty, and whether one aggregates in the space of “attainments,” using prices when appropriate, or “deprivations,” using weights set by the analyst. The paper argues that we should aim for a credible set of multiple indices rather than a single multidimensional index. Partial aggregation will still be necessary, but ideally the weights should be consistent with well-informed choices by poor people.


Poverty measurement Multidimensional index Aggregation Prices 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Development Research GroupWorld BankWashingtonUSA

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