Measuring Acute Poverty in the Developing World: Robustness and Scope of the Multidimensional Poverty Index

OPHI Working Papers

This paper presents the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), a measure of acute poverty, understood as a person’s inability to meet simultaneously minimum international standards in indicators related to the Millennium Development Goals and to core functionings. It constitutes the first implementation of the direct method to measure poverty for over 100 developing countries. After presenting the MPI, we analyse its scope and robustness, with a focus on the data challenges and methodological issues involved in constructing and estimating it. A range of robustness tests indicate that the MPI offers a reliable framework that can complement global income poverty estimates.

Citation: Alkire, S. and Santos, M. E. (2013). ‘Measuring Acute Poverty in the Developing World: Robustness and Scope of the Multidimensional Poverty Index’, OPHI Working Papers 59, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford.

OPHI WP 59 supplementary data (.xlsx)

Also published in World Development, 2014, Vol. 59, pp. 251-274.

Keywords:
poverty measurement, multidimensional poverty, capability approach, MDGs, basic needs, developing countries

Authors

Sabina Alkire and Maria Emma Santos

Series Name
OPHI Working Papers
Publication date
2013
JEL Codes
I3, I32, D63, O1
ISBN
978-1-907194-44-3
Publication Number
WP 59