Why not consider that being absolutely poor is worse than being only relatively poor?

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No current strategy to measure income poverty is able to (i) account for both its absolute and relative aspects and (ii) always consider that an individual who is absolutely poor is poorer than another individual who is only relatively poor. I propose a measure of income poverty satisfying (i) and (ii). Unlike alternative proposals satisfying (i), a decrease in a poor individual's income never reduces this measure. An application illustrates that the measure yields intuitive judgments about unequal growth experiences, for which all absolute (resp. relative) poverty measures systematically conclude that poverty has decreased (resp. increased).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-92
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017



  • income poverty measure
  • relative poverty
  • absolute poverty
  • unequal growth
  • Unequal growth
  • Relative poverty
  • Income poverty measure
  • Absolute poverty

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