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The measurement of multidimensional poverty and chronic poverty

same toolkit?

Maria Emma Santos
Suman Seth


The measurement of poverty in a single dimension - usually income - or over a single period of time is increasingly recognized inadequate as it provides only a narrow portrayal of what poverty truly is. Thus, over the past few decades, the measurement of poverty has evolved in two directions. The first is by incorporating more than one dimension of well-being, which is known as the multidimensional poverty measurement, and the second is by considering a single dimension of well-being over more than one period of time, which is called the chronic poverty measurement. However, the progress in these two areas of measurement has been made in separate and disconnected ways, without properly acknowledging the common challenges faced. This paper aims at connecting the two branches of poverty measurements, addressing the commonalities and differences and intending to provide a framework that encompasses both. In terms of the identification of the poor, we analyze the alternative procedures of using a counting approach versus an aggregate well-being function approach and we discuss the different possible types of focus axioms. In terms of the aggregation, we explore the issues of sustainability versus complementarity between dimensions or incomes in different periods, types of transfer axioms, and the meaning of weights. We identify a number of tradeoffs that appear when dealing with these issues and analyze the convenience of certain identification and aggregation tools over others in each specific context of measurement.

Publication Type(s)

Conference Paper

Ten Years of War Against Poverty Conference Papers

Conference: Ten Years of War Against Poverty


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