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Deriving the relative importance of the various components of a household?s standard of living: the case of Mexico

Valérie Bérenger, Joseph Deutsch and Jacques Silber ()
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Valérie Bérenger: University of Toulon, France

Sobre México. Revista de Economía, 2016, vol. 2, issue 1, 36-61

Abstract: This paper proposes three ways of deriving an asset index when the variables are all dichotomous. The basic idea is that households behave as if they were implicitly assigning an order of importance to the various assets that they may acquire. This order is based respectively on the methodologies of "Order of Acquisition of Durable Goods" proposed by Paroush (1963; 1965; 1973), Item Response Theory and Correspondence Analysis. The empirical analysis uses data from samples of the 2000 and 2010 Mexican Censuses available in the IPUMS. It appears that the order obtained does not depend on the methodological approach adopted and was very similar in 2000 and 2010. The identification of the order of acquisition makes it possible to locate each household on the wealth scale. The cumulative frequencies are then used to propose an alternative measure of poverty. Correlations between the extreme and moderate poverty estimates officially published by CONEVAL and those obtained from the order derived are computed and it appears that the correlation coefficient with extreme poverty reaches its maximum values both in 2000 and 2010 when the poverty rate according to the order of acquisition is defined by the percentage of households deprived of at least two goods. The main merit of an asset approach based on the idea of an order of acquisition is that the value of the index provides us with a clear list of the goods and services that households own or do not own and an intuitive definition of the poverty line.

JEL-codes: D31 D63 I32 O15 O53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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