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The Material and Political Bases of Lived Poverty in Africa: Insights from the Afrobarometer

  • Robert Mattes
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 33)

Abstract

The Afrobarometer has developed an experiential measure of lived poverty (how frequently people go without basic ecessities during the course of a year) that measures a portion of the central core of the concept of poverty not captured by existing objective or subjective measures. Empirically, the measure has strong individual level construct validity and reliability within any cross national round of surveys. Yet it also displays inconsistent levels of external validity as a measure of aggregate level poverty when compared to other objective, material measures of poverty or well being. Surprisingly, however, we find that lived poverty is very strongly related to country level measures of political freedom. This finding simultaneously supports Sen’s (1999) arguments about development as freedom, corroborates Halperin et al’s (2005) arguments about the “democracy advantage” in development, and increases our confidence that we are indeed measuring the experiential core of poverty.

Keywords

Cash Income Political Freedom National Wealth Southern African Country Political Basis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Mattes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political Studies and Centre for Social Science ResearchUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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