From income poverty to multidimensional poverty: an international comparison

Burchi, Francesco / Nicole Rippin / Claudio E. Montenegro
External Publications (2018)

Brasília: International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG Working Paper 174)

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The Agenda 2030 clearly recognizes that poverty is more than just lack of a sufficient amount of income. However, some scholars argue that an income-based measure of poverty can sufficiently capture poverty in other dimensions. Unfortunately, the available international indicators of multidimensional poverty suffer from several weaknesses and cannot be directly compared with monetary measures of poverty. This paper provides two main contributions to the literature on poverty measurement and analysis. First, it proposes a theoretically and methodologically sound indicator of multidimensional poverty, called the Global Correlation Sensitive Poverty Index (G-CSPI), which addresses most of the problems present in other poverty indicators. Thanks to the massive I2D2 database of harmonized household surveys, the G-CSPI was calculated for more than 500 surveys: the results show that it is stable and robust. Second, for the first time we were able to conduct a comparative analysis between income and multidimensional poverty relying on the same dataset for the calculation of the two. Previous cross-country evidence, instead, was based on very different surveys used for the computation of income and multidimensional poverty and even conducted in different years. Building on recent data for 92 countries, our analysis shows that the headcount ratio of extreme monetary poverty (USD 1.90) is highly correlated with that of the G-CSPI, but that the relationship is clearly non-linear. This way we provided the first empirical evidence of the fact that income poverty is not a sufficiently good proxy for multidimensional poverty.

About the authors

Burchi, Francesco

Development Economy

Burchi

Rippin, Nicole

Economist

Rippin

Further experts

Bauer, Steffen

Political scientist 

Baumann, Max-Otto

Political Science 

Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science 

Brehm, Johannes

Economy 

Brüntrup, Michael

Agricultural Economy 

Dick, Eva

Sociologist and Spatial Planner 

Götze, Jacqueline

Political Scientist 

Hackenesch, Christine

Political Science 

Hilbrich, Sören

Economy 

Hägele, Ramona

Political Scientist 

Iacobuta, Gabriela

Environmental Researcher 

Janus, Heiner

Political Science 

Keijzer, Niels

Social Science 

Kloke-Lesch, Adolf

Urban and regional planner 

Koch, Svea

Social Science 

Laudage, Sabine

Economy 

Malerba, Daniele

Economy 

Mathis, Okka Lou

Political Scientist 

Scholz, Imme

Sociologist 

Schwachula, Anna

Sociology 

Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy

Agricultural Economist 

Sturm, Janina

Economist and political scientist 

Vogel, Johanna

International Cultural Economy 

Wehrmann, Dorothea

Sociology 

Weinlich, Silke

Political Science