Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis

ISBN : 9780199689491

Sabina Alkire; James Foster; Suman Seth; Maria Emma Santos; Jose Manuel Roche; Paola Ballon
368 Pages
197 x 253 mm
Pub date
Jun 2015
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Multidimensional poverty measurement and analysis is evolving rapidly. Notably, it has informed the publication of the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) estimates in the Human Development Reports of the United Nations Development Programme since 2010, and the release of national poverty measures in Mexico, Colombia, Bhutan, the Philippines and Chile. The academic response has been similarly swift, with related articles published in both theoretical and applied journals. The high and insistent demand for in-depth and precise accounts of multidimensional poverty measurement motivates this book, which is aimed at graduate students in quantitative social sciences, researchers of poverty measurement, and technical staff in governments and international agencies who create multidimensional poverty measures. The book is organized into four elements. The first introduces the framework for multidimensional measurement and provides a lucid overview of a range of multidimensional techniques and the problems each can address. The second part gives a synthetic introduction of 'counting' approaches to multidimensional poverty measurement and provides an in-depth account of the counting multidimensional poverty measurement methodology developed by Alkire and Foster, which is a straightforward extension of the well-known Foster-Greer-Thorbecke poverty measures that had a significant and lasting impact on income poverty measurement. The final two parts deal with the pre-estimation issues such as normative choices and distinctive empirical techniques used in measure design, and the post-estimation issues such as robustness tests, statistical inferences, comparisons over time, and assessments of inequality among the poor.


1. Introduction
2. The Framework
3. Overview of Methods for Multidimensional Poverty Assessment
4. Counting Approaches: Definitions, Origins, and Implementations
5. The Alkire-Foster Counting Methodology
6. Normative Choices in Measurement Design
7. Data and Analysis
8. Robustness Analysis and Statistical Inference
9. Distribution and Dynamics
10. Some Regression Models for AF Measures

About the author: 

Sabina Alkire directs the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), a research centre within the Department of International Development at the University of Oxford. Her research and publications address conceptual work related to the capability approach and human development, the methodologies and applications of multidimensional poverty measurement, and the measurement of well-being, gross-national-happiness, and agency/empowerment. She holds a DPhil in economics from the University of Oxford. ; James E. Foster is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the George Washington University, and Director of the Institute for International Economic Policy in the Elliott School of International Affairs. He earned his PhD in economics from Cornell University, where he received the Selma Fine Goldsmith dissertation award. He is Research Associate at the OPHI and a member of the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group in the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics at the University of Chicago. In 2012 he was elected Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford. Professor Foster's research focuses on welfare economics - using economic tools to evaluate and enhance the wellbeing of people. His joint 1984 Econometrica paper is one of the most cited papers on poverty. It introduced the FGT Index, which has been used in thousands of studies and was the basis for targeting the Progresa program in Mexico.; Suman Seth is a research officer with OHPI. He obtained a PhD in Economics from Vanderbilt University. He has previously served as a consultant to the Regional Bureau of Latin America and the Caribbean of UNDP, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. He has been closely involved with the team that developed the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). His primary interest lies in the area of development economics with special emphasis on measurement methodologies and policy-oriented applications of multidimensional welfare and poverty measures. ; Maria Emma Santos is an Assistant Professor at Departamento de Economia, Universidad Nacional del Sur (UNS) and a Research Fellow at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET-IIESS), Bahia Blanca, Argentina. She is also a research associate at OPHI. She did her first degree in Economics at UNS (2002), her MA in Economic Development at Vanderbilt University (2005) and her Doctorate in Economics at UNS (2008). She spent two years (2008-2010) as a post-doc Research Officer at OPHI. Her main research interests are the measurement, determinants and analysis of multidimensional and chronic poverty, income inequality, and the quality of education. ; Jose Manuel is Head of Research at Save the Children UK. He holds a DPhil from the University of Sussex and has over 20 years of research and consultancy experience in international development, poverty analysis, social inequality, human development, and the capability approach. He is also research associate at OPHI and is Junior Research Fellow at Somerville College. He is also Education Officer and Member of the Executive council (elected 2012-2015) of the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA), coordinator of the Quantitative Research Thematic Group at the HDCA (since 2009) and research fellow at the Social Science Research Centre (CISOR) in Venezuela. He was awarded the 2007 Wiebke Kuklys Prize, and is a Chevening Alumni. ; Paola Ballon is a Research Officer at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative of the University of Oxford, U.K and Senior Researcher for the Partnership of Economic Policy. She holds a Ph.D in Econometrics from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Her expertise is on multidimensional poverty measurement and the econometric analysis of poverty. Her research interests comprise structural equation models for human development and well-being, and applied micro-econometrics to development economics. She has been a researcher at the World Bank, UNICEF, the International Labour Office, the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER), and the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. She is Associate Editor for Oxford Development Studies, and former member of the Editorial Board of the Review of Income and Wealth.

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