Working Paper: 99

Identifying Destitution through Linked Subsets of Multidimensionally Poor: An Ordinal Approach

A reduction in overall poverty may not necessarily improve the situations of the poorest. In order to pay particular attention to the poorest, it is crucial to distinguish them from the moderately poor population. In income poverty measurement, this distinction is made by defining a more stringent poverty cutoff. In this paper, we explore such mechanisms to distinguish subsets of the poor in a multidimensional counting framework, under the practical assumption that many variables for assessing deprivations are ordinal. We examine two approaches that capture two distinct forms of stringent multidimensional poverty: one uses a more stringent vector of deprivation cutoffs, and the other, a more stringent cross-dimensional poverty cutoff. To explore the distinction between these two approaches empirically, we examine the evolution of multidimensional poverty in Nepal. Our findings show crucial differences between these two approaches.

Citation: Alkire, S. and Seth, S. (2016). ‘Identifying destitution through linked subsets of multidimensionally poor: an ordinal approach’, OPHI Working Paper 99, University of Oxford.