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A Dynamic Latent Model for Poverty Measurement

Michele Costa () and Luca De Angelis ()

Communications in Statistics - Theory and Methods, 2015, vol. 44, issue 23, 5037-5048

Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is the longitudinal analysis of the poverty phenomenon. By interpreting poverty as a latent variable, we are able to resort to the statistical methodology developed for latent structure analysis. In particular, we propose to use the mixture latent Markov model which allows us to achieve two goals: (i) a time-invariant classification of households into homogenous groups, representing different levels of poverty; (ii) the dynamic analysis of the poverty phenomenon which highlights the distinction between transitory and permanent poverty situations. Furthermore, we exploit the flexibility provided by the model in order to achieve the measurement of poverty in a multidisciplinary framework, using several socio-economic indicators as covariates and identifying the main relevant factors which influence permanent and transitory poverty. The analysis of the longitudinal data of the Survey on Households Income and Wealth of the Bank of Italy provides the identification of two groups of households which are characterized by different dynamic features. Moreover, the inclusion of socio-economic covariates such as level of education, employment status, geographical area and residence size of the household head shows a direct association with permanent poverty.

Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1080/03610926.2013.810267

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