This study describes the multidimensionality of child poverty and produces the first multidimensional child poverty indices in North Macedonia. We use the Alkire-Foster method to develop two age-specific (0–4 years and 5–17 years) child multidimensional poverty indices (MPIs) by leveraging secondary data from Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2018/2019 for North Macedonia and North Macedonia Roma Settlements. We find that the largest part of multidimensionally poor children are deprived within the range 33 − 39% of deprivations and the structure of multidimensional child poverty is similar for less, as well as for more intensely deprived children in both age-groups. Additionally, we identify the most deprived groups with respect to the area of living, ethnicity, and geographical location. The study provides general recommendations for policymakers to reduce child poverty in North Macedonia.
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MODA was used in all studies, except for Serbia.
The MICS 2018/2019 for North Macedonia and North Macedonia Roma Settlements covers different aspects of child well-being including health, nutrition, access to water and sanitation, child development, literacy and education, child protection and access to information among others, making it very appropriate for the child deprivation analysis. MICS is a household survey and child-related questions are derived from adult respondents. For more details, see https://www.stat.gov.mk/Dokumenti/MICS_18-19.pdf.
Sen (1993) defines capability as “… the capability of a person reflects the alternative combinations of functionings the person can achieve, and from which he or she can choose one collection.” While the functionings may span from elementary (e.g., adequate nutrition) to more complex (e.g., social inclusion), the poverty would relate to some basic capabilities whose set is context-dependent.
Qi & Wu (2019) provide brief history of the development of multidimensional measures of child poverty.
National legislation: Law on Child Protection, Family Law, Labor Code, Law on Social Protection, Law on Primary Education, Law on Health Insurance; National strategies/plans: National Youth Strategy 2016–2025, National Strategy for Reduction of Poverty and Social Exclusion 2010–2020, National Strategy for Prevention and Protection of Children from Violence (2020–2025) and its Action Plan (2020–2022), Strategic Plan 2021–2023 (Ministry of Labor and Social Policy).
If there is one or more missing indicators, other indicators in the dimension receive higher weights (Alkire & Santos, 2014). Moreover, the Education indicators are not applicable to the 5 years old children. We treat the children with non-applicable population as non-deprived in the relevant dimensions.
Percentage contribution of a dimension is the weighted ratio between censored headcount ratio of that dimension and adjusted headcount ratio.
Also, we calculate Cronbach’s alpha for the indicators of each age-group resulting in 0.47 for 0–4 age-group and 0.44 for 5–17 age-group. While Cronbach’s alpha has been extensively used in the literature, low coefficients of Cronbach’s alpha do not undermine the reliability of the designed indices (Santos & Villatoro, 2019). The main motivation behind calculation of multidimensional measures is a lower association between different kinds of deprivations.
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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Research Involving Human Participants and/or Animals
This article does not contain any studies involving human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
This study was funded by UNICEF Office North Macedonia, under a service contract between UNICEF and Finance Think. A written consent has been obtained from UNICEF before submitting of the paper for publication.
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Srbinoski, B., Petreski, B. & Petreski, M. Measurement of Multidimensional Child Poverty: Evidence from North Macedonia. Child Ind Res 16, 247–271 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-022-09967-9