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Multidimensional indices of achievements and poverty: What do we gain and what do we lose?

Nora Lustig ()

No 210, Working Papers from ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality

Abstract: Poverty and wellbeing are multi-dimensional. Nobody questions that deprivations and achievements go beyond income. There is, however, sharp disagreement on whether the various dimensions of poverty and wellbeing can be aggregated into a single, multi-dimensional index in a meaningful way. Is aggregating dimensions of poverty and wellbeing useful? Is it sensible? Here I summarize and contrast three key papers that respond these questions in strikingly different ways. The papers are: The HDI 2010: New Controversies, Old Critiques by Jeni Klugman, Francisco Rodríguez and Hyung-Jin Choi; Understandings and Misunderstandings of Multidimensional Poverty Measurement by Sabina Alkire and James Foster; and, On Multidimensional Indices of Poverty by Martin Ravallion.

Keywords: poverty measurement; multidimensional poverty; deprivation; axioms; Human Development Index; capabilities; substitutability; trade-offs; welfare; country classifications (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 I32 I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ltv
Date: 2011
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