Subjective Poverty and Affluence in the Philippines
In the Philippines, self-rated poverty and poverty thresholds have been measured at the national level since the mid-1980s, and are now being monitored from quarterly surveys, together with other subjective indicators of the quality of life. The self-rated poor are about twice as many as the poor officially defined. The official poverty line meets the subjective needs of only half of the self-rated poor. Self-rated poverty has a strong inverse relation to educational attainment, but is unconnected to gender and age of the household head. Surveys into food-poverty, hunger, and illness have been internally consistent. The rapidity of the tracking system has enabled short-run changes in poverty to become manifest.
There has been comparatively little measurement of affluence. A new survey looking into the subjective threshold of affluence finds that, like the subjective threshold of poverty, it increases with household head’s education, and is slightly higher among female heads. For most people, the affluence threshold is only some three times their poverty threshold. More research into perceptions of poverty and affluence will help explain why Filipinos are less concerned than most other nationalities about reducing inequality between the rich and the poor.
KeywordsIncome Expense Volatility
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