Estimating Poverty Lines

Part of the Economic Studies in Inequality, Social Exclusion and Well-Being book series (EIAP, volume 2)


Three major issues arise in the estimation and in the use of poverty lines. First, we must define the space in which well-being is to be measured. As discussed in Chapter 1, this can be the space of utility, incomes, “basic needs”, functionings, or capabilities. Second, we must determine whether we are interested in an absolute or in a relative poverty line in the space considered. Third, we must choose whether it is by someone’s “capacity to function” or by someone’s “actual functioning” that we will judge if that person is poor. We consider first the issue of the choice between an absolute and a relative poverty line.


Calorie Intake Poverty Line Total Expenditure Relative Deprivation Food Share 
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