Multidimensional Poverty: Properties and Measurement

Instructor: OPHI Director Sabina Alkire and María Emma Santos, OPHI Research Officer

Class Objectives:

  • Properties of multidimensional poverty measures that are natural extensions of the unidimensional framework.
  • Properties specific to multidimensional measures.
  • Multidimensional poverty measures: issues of identification and aggregation.
  • Multidimensional Poverty Measures

Multidimensional Poverty Measurement (Santos) Presentation
Multidimensional Poverty Measurement (Alkire) Presentation

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Reading List
Suggested basic readings on this topic:
ALKIRE, S. and J. FOSTER. (2008): “Counting and Multidimensional Poverty Measurement”, Working Paper No 7, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative
BOURGUIGNON , F. and S. CHAKRAVARTY. (2003): “The Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty”, Journal of Economic Inequality. 1: 25-19.
DEUTSCH, J. and J. SILBER (2005), “Measuring Multidimensional Poverty: An Empirical Comparison of Various Approaches”, Review of Income and Wealth. 51 (1): 145-174.

Further readings:
ANAND, S., and A. SEN (1997): Concepts of Human Development and Poverty: A Multidimensional Perspective. New York: UNDP.
ATKINSON, A. B. (2003): “Multidimensional Deprivation: Contrasting Social Welfare and Counting Approaches”, Journal of Economic Inequality. 1: 51-65.
BIBI , S. (2005): “Measuring Poverty in a Multidimensional Perspective: A Review of Literature”, PMMA Working Paper 2005-07.
BRANDOLINI , A., and G. D’ALESSIO (1998). “Measuring Well-being in the Functioning Space”. Mimeo. Rome. Banco d’Italia Research Department.
Chakravarty , S.R., D’Ambrosio, A., 2006, The Measurement of Social Exclusion. Review of Income and Wealth. 523, 377-398.
DEUTSCH, J., and J. SILBER (2005): “Measuring Multidimensional Poverty: An Empirical Comparison of Various Approaches”, The Review of Income and Wealth, 51, 145-174.
GORDON, D., S. NANDY, C. PANTAZIS, S. PEMBERTON, and P. TOWNSEND (2003): “The Distribution of Child Poverty in the Developing World”, Bristol: Centre for International Poverty Research.
KAKWANI, N. AND SILBER, J. 2007, Eds. The Many Dimensions of Poverty. Palgrave-MacMillan.
KAKWANI, N. AND SILBER, J. 2008, Eds. Quantitative Approaches to Multidimensional Poverty. Palgrave-MacMillan.
KOLM, S. C. (1977 ): “Multidimensional Egalitarianism”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 91, 1-13.
MAASOUMI, E., and M. A. LUGO (2008): “The Information Basis of Multivariate Poverty Assessments”, in Quantitative Approaches to Multidimensional Poverty Measurement, ed. by N. Kakwani, and J. Silber. New York: Palgrave-MacMillan, 1-29.
SEN, A. K. (1980): “Equality of What?”, in The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, ed. by S. McMurrin. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.
SEN, A. K. (1987): “The Standard of Living”, in The Standard of Living, ed. by G. Hawthorn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1-38.
THORBECKE, E. (2008): “Multidimensional Poverty: Conceptual and Measurement Issues”, in The Many Dimensions of Poverty ed. by N. Kakwani, and J. Silber. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
TSUI, K. (2002): “Multidimensional Poverty Indices”, Social Choice and Welfare. 19: 69-93.

Suggestions on applied research on the topic:
ALKIRE and FOSTER (2008) contains an empirical illustration of the proposed measures to the US and Indonesia. Other applications of these measures to China, India, Bhutan, six African countries and eight Latin American countries are currently being developed at OPHI and will be posted as OPHI Working Papers soon.
ALKIRE, S. and S. SETH (2008), “Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and BPL Methods in India: A Comparison of Methods”. OPHI Working Paper No 15.
ALKIRE, S. and S. SETH (2008), “Determining BPL Status Some Methodological Improvements”, Indian Journal of Human Development, Vol. 2 (2), 407-424.
BATANA, Y (2008), “Multidimensional Measurement of Poverty in Sub Saharan Africa”. OPHI Working Paper No 13.
BOURGUIGNON and CHAKRAVARTY (2003) contains an empirical application of the proposed family of multidimensional poverty indices to the case of rural Brazil.
LUGO (2005) contains an estimation of multidimensional inequality indices to Argentina.
SANTOS , M.E. and K. URA (2008), “Multidimensional Poverty in Bhutan: Estimates and Policy Implications”. OPHI Working Paper No 13.
WAGLE, U. (2005). “Multidimensional Poverty Measurement with Economic Well-Being, Capability and Social Inclusion: A Case from Kathmandu, Nepal”, Journal of Human Development. 6, 3: 301-328.

Suggested books on this topic:

ATKINSON, A.B., B. CANTILLON, E. MARLIER, and B.NOLAN (2002), Social Indicators: The EU and Social Inclusion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
KAKWANI, N. and J. SILBER (2008), The Many Dimensions of Poverty. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
KAKWANI, N. and J. SILBER (2008), Quantitative Approaches to Multidimensional Poverty Measurement. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
MCGILLIVRAY, M. (ed.) (2006), Human Well-being: Concept and Measurement. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave MacMillan.