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Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen, Volume 2Society, Institutions, and Development$
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Kaushik Basu and Ravi Kanbur

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239979

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239979.001.0001

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Inter‐country Comparisons of Income Poverty Based on a Capability Approach †

Inter‐country Comparisons of Income Poverty Based on a Capability Approach †

Chapter:
(p.7) Chapter 1 Inter‐country Comparisons of Income Poverty Based on a Capability Approach
Source:
Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen, Volume 2
Author(s):

Sanjay G. Reddy

Sujata Visaria

Muhammad Asali

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239979.003.0002

This chapter argues 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. It implements a uniform approach to income poverty assessment based on basic human capabilities for three countries in three continents: Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Vietnam. The chapter computes standard errors of the resulting poverty estimates and compares the incidence of income poverty across these three countries. The choice of approach affects both cardinal estimates and ordinal rankings of income poverty across countries and over time. The chapter argues that meaningful and coherent inter-country poverty comparisons are best advanced through international co-ordination in survey design, and through the construction of income poverty lines that possess a meaningful and uniform interpretation (as the cost of achieving elementary income-dependent capabilities).

Keywords:   capabilities, income poverty, inter-country poverty, money-metric approach, global poverty

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