Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: Chapter 1 – Introduction

OPHI Working Papers

This working paper presents the normative, empirical, and policy motivations for focusing on multidimensional poverty measurement and analysis in general, and one measurement approach in particular. The fundamental normative motivation is to create effective measures that better reflect poor people’s experience, so that policies using such measures reduce poverty. Such measures are needed because, empirically, income-poor households are (surprisingly) not well-matched to households carrying other basic deprivations like malnutrition; also the trends of income and non-income deprivations are not matched, and nor does growth ensure the reduction of social deprivations. And, a dashboard overlooks the interconnection between deprivations, which people experience and policies seek to address. Turning to policy, we close by discussing how the Alkire-Foster methodology we present in Working Paper 86 (“Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: Chapter 5 – The Alkire-Foster Counting Methology”) may be used. 

Citation: Alkire, S., Foster, J. E., Seth, S., Santos, M. E., Roche, J. M., and Ballon, P. (2015). Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ch. 1.

Also published in Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis, Oxford University Press, 2015.

Multidimensional poverty, capability approach, Millennium Development Goals, economic growth, income poverty

Sabina Alkire, James E. Foster, Suman Seth, Maria Emma Santos, Jose M. Roche and Paola Ballon
Series Name
OPHI Working Papers
Publication date
JEL Codes
D60, I30, O20
ISBN 8-19-0719-469-6
Publication Number
WP 82