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Multidimensional Poverty: Conceptual and Measurement Issues

  • Erik Thorbecke
Chapter

Abstract

Our understanding of the concept of poverty has improved and deepened considerably in the last three decades or so following Amartya Sen’s seminal work. Presently we possess the analytical tools to identify and locate the poor, to describe their characteristics and to measure the extent of poverty at different levels of aggregation. Yet, in spite of spectacular methodological advances in the analysis of poverty a number of conceptual and measurement issues remains to be addressed or further clarified. Ravi Kanbur (2002) has argued that the research on distributional issues in economics and development economics in the last thirty years can be divided roughly into two periods: (i) the 1970s to the mid-1980s and (ii) the mid-1980s to the end of the last century. The first 15 years were a ‘period of great conceptual leaps and ferment’ while the second period was marked by ‘consolidation, application and fierce policy debate’. Very recent methodological contributions suggest that we are entering a period of resurgence in research attempting to sharpen and broaden our view of poverty.

Keywords

Poverty Line Poverty Measure Multidimensional Poverty Poverty Threshold Poverty Trap 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Thorbecke

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