Advertisement

The Journal of Economic Inequality

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 25–49 | Cite as

The Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty

  • François Bourguignon
  • Satya R. Chakravarty
Article

Abstract

Many authors have insisted on the necessity of defining poverty as a multidimensional concept rather than relying on income or consumption expenditures per capita. Yet, not much has actually been done to include the various dimensions of deprivation into the practical definition and measurement of poverty. Existing attempts along that direction consist of aggregating various attributes into a single index through some arbitrary function and defining a poverty line and associated poverty measures on the basis of that index. This is merely redefining more generally the concept of poverty, which then essentially remains a one dimensional concept. The present paper suggests that an alternative way to take into account the multi-dimensionality of poverty is to specify a poverty line for each dimension of poverty and to consider that a person is poor if he/she falls below at least one of these various lines. The paper then explores how to combine these various poverty lines and associated one-dimensional gaps into multidimensional poverty measures. An application of these measures to the rural population in Brazil is also given with poverty defined on income and education.

multidimensional poverty measure 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Atkinson, A. and Bourguignon, F.: The comparison of multidimensioned distributions of economic status, Rev. Econom. Stud. 49 (1982), 183–201.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Blackorby, C. and Donaldson, D.: Ethical indices for the measurement of poverty, Econometrica 48 (1980), 1053–1060.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bourguignon, F. and Fields, G.S.: Discontinuous losses from poverty, generalized P_ α measures, and optimal transfers to the poor, J. Public Economics 63 (1997), 155–175.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chakravarty, S.R.: Ethical Social Index Numbers, Springer-Verlag, London, 1990.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chakravarty, S.R., Mukherjee, D. and Ranade, R.: On the family of subgroup and factor decomposable measures of multidimensional poverty, Research on Economic Inequality 8 (1998), 175–194.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Clark, S., Hemming, R. and Ulph, D.: On indices for the measurement of poverty, Economic J. 91 (1981), 515–526.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cowell, F.A.: Poverty measures, inequality and decomposability, In: D. Bös, M. Rose and C. Seidl (eds), Welfare and Efficiency in Public Economics, Springer-Verlag, London, 1988.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Donaldson, D. and Weymark, J.A.: Properties of fixed population poverty indices, Internat. Econom. Rev. 27 (1986), 667–688.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Duclos, J.-Y., Sahn, D. and Younger, S.: Robust multi-dimensional poverty comparisons, Cornell University, Mimeo, 2001.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Elbers, C., Lanjouw, J., Lanjouw, P. and Leite, P.G.: Poverty and inequality in Brazil: new estimates from combined PPV-PNAD data, World Bank, DECRG, Mimeo, 2001.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Foster, J.E.: On economic poverty: a survey of aggregate measures, In: R.L. Basman and G.F. Rhodes (eds), Advances in Econometrics, Vol. 3, JAI Press, Connecticut, 1984.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Foster, J., Greer, J. and Thorbecke, E.: A class of decomposable poverty measures, Econometrica 52 (1984), 761–765.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Foster, J. and Shorrocks, A.F.: Subgroup consistent poverty indices, Econometrica 59 (1991), 687–709.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kakwani, N.C.: On a class of poverty measures, Econometrica 48 (1980), 437–446.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kolm, S.C.: Multidimensional egalitarianisms, Quart. J. Econom. 91 (1977), 1–13.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lipton, M. and Ravallion, M.: Poverty and policy, In: J. Behrman and T.N. Srinivasan (eds), Handbook of Development Economics, Vol. 3, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1995.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Maasoumi, E.: The measurement and decomposition of multidimensional inequality, Econometrica 54 (1986), 771–779.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pradhan, M. and Ravallion, M.: Measuring poverty using qualitative perceptions of consumption adequacy, Rev. Econom. Statist. 82(3) (2000), 462–471.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ravallion, M.: Issues in measuring and modelling poverty, Economic J. 106 (1996), 1328–1343.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sen, A.K.: Poverty: an ordinal approach to measurement, Econometrica 44 (1976), 219–231.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sen, A.K.: Commodities and Capabilities, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1985.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Sen, A.K.: Inequality Reexamined, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1992.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Streeten, P.: First Things First: Meeting Basic Human Needs in Developing Countries, Oxford University Press, New York, 1981.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Takayama, N.: Poverty, income inequality and their measures: Professor Sen's axiomatic approach reconsidered, Econometrica 47 (1979), 747–759.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Tsui, K.Y.:Multidimensional generalizations of the relative and absolute indices: the Atkinson- Kolm- Sen approach, J. Econom. Theory 67 (1995), 251–265.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Tsui, K.Y.: Multidimensional poverty indices, Social Choice and Welfare 19 (2002), 69–93.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    UNDP: Human Development Report, Oxford University Press, New York, 1990.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Zheng, B.: Aggregate poverty measures, J. Economic Surveys 11 (1997), 123–162.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • François Bourguignon
    • 1
  • Satya R. Chakravarty
    • 2
  1. 1.Delta, ENSParisFrance
  2. 2.Indian Statistical InstituteCalcuttaIndia

Personalised recommendations