Inter-Country Comparisons of Poverty Based on a Capability Approach

33 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2006 Last revised: 14 Aug 2014

See all articles by Sanjay G. Reddy

Sanjay G. Reddy

The New School - Department of Economics

Sujata Visaria

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Department of Economics

Muhammad Asali

International School of Economics at TSU; IZA; Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA); Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics

Abstract

We argue that inter-country comparisons of income poverty based on poverty lines uniformly reflecting the costs of the basic requirements of human beings are superior to the existing money-metric approaches. In this exercise, we implement a uniform approach to poverty assessment based on basic human capabilities for three countries: Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Vietnam. We compute standard errors of the resulting poverty estimates and compare the incidence of poverty across these three countries. The choice of approach affects both cardinal estimates and ordinal rankings of poverty across countries and over time. Meaningful and coherent inter-country poverty comparisons can be advanced through international co-ordination in survey design and in the construction of income poverty lines that uniformly reflect the costs of the basic requirements of human beings.

Keywords: Poverty, Poverty Measurement, Capabilities, Functionings, International Comparisons, Intersection Partial Orderings, Hasse Diagrams, Tanzania, Nicaragua, Vietnam

JEL Classification: C12, C43, C81, D31, D63, I30, I31, I32, O12, O15

Suggested Citation

Reddy, Sanjay G. and Visaria, Sujata and Asali, Muhammad, Inter-Country Comparisons of Poverty Based on a Capability Approach. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=915406 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.915406

Sanjay G. Reddy (Contact Author)

The New School - Department of Economics ( email )

Room 1116
6 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

Sujata Visaria

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Department of Economics ( email )

Clear Water Bay
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
+852-23587608 (Phone)

Muhammad Asali

International School of Economics at TSU

16 Zandukeli Street
Tbilisi, 0108
Georgia

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/muhammadasali/

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

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