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Assessing individuals' deprivation in a multidimensional framework
Authors: Iñaki Permanyer
Source: Journal of Development Economics, 109: 1-6
Topic(s): Poverty
Country: More than one region
  Multiple Regions
Published: JUL 2014
Abstract: In the context of multidimensional poverty measurement, it seems plausible to assume that when individuals are deprived in some dimensions and non-deprived in the remaining ones, the latter can be allowed to play a non-trivial role in the assessment of those individuals' poverty levels. Yet, this simple and attractive property is violated by virtually all multidimensional poverty indices proposed in the literature so far because they stick to the so-called ‘Strong Focus’ axiom. This paper characterizes a class of multidimensional poverty indices that allows for certain trade-offs between deprived and non-deprived attributes when measuring individuals' deprivation. The empirical results based on ‘Demographic and Health Surveys’ from 54 countries suggest that our assessments of multidimensional poverty can differ dramatically when the overly restrictive Strong Focus is abandoned in favor of weaker versions of the axiom. Keywords • Multidimensional poverty measurement; • Axiomatization; • Focus axiom; • Sensitivity analysis