Tag Archives: multidimensional poverty measurement

Counting and Multidimensional Poverty Measurement (Revised and Updated)

This paper proposes a new methodology for multidimensional poverty measurement consisting of an identification method ρk that extends the traditional intersection and union approaches, and a class of poverty measures Mα. Our identification step employs two forms of cutoff: one within each dimension to determine whether a person is deprived in that dimension, and a second across dimensions that identifies the poor by ‘counting’ the dimensions in which a person is deprived. The aggregation step employs the FGT measures, appropriately adjusted to account for multidimensionality. The axioms are presented as joint restrictions on identification and the measures, and the methodology satisfies a range of desirable properties including decomposability. The identification method is particularly well suited for use with ordinal data, as is the first of our measures, the adjusted headcount ratio. We present some dominance results and an interpretation of the adjusted headcount ratio as a measure of unfreedom. Examples from the US and Indonesia illustrate our methodology.

Citation: Alkire, S. and Foster, J. (2009). “Counting and Multidimensional Poverty Measurement (revised and updated).” OPHI Working Paper 32, University of Oxford.

Income and Beyond: Multidimensional Poverty in Six Latin American Countries

This paper presents empirical results of a wide range of multidimensional poverty measures for: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico and Uruguay, for the period 1992–2006. Six dimensions are analysed: income, child attendance at school, education of the household head, sanitation, water and shelter. Over the study period, El Salvador, Brazil, Mexico and Chile experienced significant reductions of multidimensional poverty. In contrast, in urban Uruguay there was a small reduction in multidimensional poverty, while in urban Argentina the estimates did not change significantly. El Salvador, Brazil and Mexico together with rural areas of Chile display significantly higher and more simultaneous deprivations than urban areas of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. In all countries, access to proper sanitation and education of the household head are the highest contributors to overall multidimensional poverty.

Data file (xls) is available here.

Tables (pdf) is available here.

Citation: Battiston, D., Cruces, G., et al. (2009). “Income and Beyond: Multidimensional Poverty in Six Latin American Countries.” OPHI Working Paper 17, University of Oxford.

Multidimensional Poverty in Bhutan: Estimates and Policy Implications

This paper estimates multidimensional poverty in Bhutan applying a recently developed methodology by Alkire and Foster (2007) using the 2007 Bhutan Living Standard Survey data. Five dimensions are considered for estimations in both rural and urban areas (income, education, room availability, access to electricity and access to drinking water) and two additional dimensions are considered for estimates in rural areas only (access to roads and land ownership). Also, two alternative weighting systems are used: a baseline using equal weights for every dimension and another one using weights derived from the Gross National Happiness Survey (GNHS). Estimates are decomposed into rural and urban areas, by dimension and between districts. It is found that multidimensional poverty is mainly a rural phenomenon, although urban areas present non-depreciable level of deprivation in room availability and education. Within rural areas, when equal weights are used, deprivation comes at a second place, and deprivation in water at the last one. When GNHS weights are used, income deprivation has the highest contribution, followed by deprivation education, access to roads, room, electricity, land and, finally, water. Districts are ranked by their multidimensional poverty estimate and rankings are found to be robust for a wide range of poverty cutoffs. Then, the methodology is suggested as a potential formula for national poverty measurement as well as a tool for budget allocation among districts and, within them, among dimensions.

Citation: Santos, M. E. and Ura, K. (2008). “Multidimensional Poverty in Bhutan: Estimates and Policy Implications”. OPHI Working Paper 14, University of Oxford.