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Getting multidimensional poverty measurement right

principles and practice

Julio Bolvinik


The analysis presented argues that poverty measurement must be multidimensional because human needs are multiple. Human needs are met through various satisfiers to which people have access through a range of resources or wellbeing sources. This enormous diversity and complexity would not imply heterogeneity or the purposes of analysis if markets were unlimited, if everything were bought and sold and had a price. But this is not the case: markets have limits, exchange values are not universal: there are satisfiers that cannot be acquired on the market. Money can neither measure nor buy everything. Some satisfiers and wellbeing sources cannot be expressed monetarily. This implies that the variables that are used to measure multidimensional poverty are either nominative ones that can be transformed into ordinal ones or else cardinal ones. This heterogeneity requires a solution in order to be able to combine all the dimensions involved. 


Publication Type(s)

Conference Paper

Ten Years of War Against Poverty Conference Papers

Conference: Ten Years of War Against Poverty


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