The Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty

Part of the Economic Studies in Inequality, Social Exclusion and Well-Being book series (EIAP, volume 6)


In Chap. 2, we have presented a detailed and analytical discussion on the measurement of poverty using income as the only attribute of well-being. But as we have argued in Chap. 5, income is simply one of the many dimensions of well-being Therefore, poverty being a manifestation of insufficient well-being, should as well be regarded as a multidimensional phenomenon. In fact, there are many reasons for viewing poverty from a multidimensional perspective. The basic-needs approach regards poverty as lack of basic needs, and hence poverty is intrinsically multidimensional from this perspective. The importance of low income as a determinant of undernutrition is a debatable issue. (See Behrman and Deolikar, 1988; Dasgupta, 1993; Lipton and Ravallion, 1995; Ravallion, 1990, 1992.) In the capability-functioning approach, poverty is regarded as a problem of capability failure. As Sen (1999) argued, capability failure captures the notion of poverty that people experience in day-to-day living condition. This approach constitutes a very sensible way of conceptualizing poverty since capability failure is generated from inability of possession of a wide range of characteristics related to the living standard rather than simply from the lowness of income. (See also Lewis and Ulph, 1988; Sen, 1985a, 1992; Townsend, 1979.)


Multidimensional Poverty Poverty Index Deprivation Score Multidimensional Poverty Index Poor Person 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

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