Premature Mortality and Poverty Measurement

21 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2007

See all articles by Ravi Kanbur

Ravi Kanbur

Cornell University; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Diganta Mukherjee

Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi - Economic Research Unit

Abstract

There is a glaring paradox in all commonly used measures of poverty. The death of a poor person, because of poverty, reduces poverty according to these measures. This surely violates our basic intuitions of how poverty measures should behave. It cannot be right in concept that differentially higher mortality among the poor serves to reduce poverty. This article begins the task of developing poverty measures that are not perversely mortality sensitive. A family of measures is proposed that is an intuitive modification of standard poverty measures to take into account the fact that the rich live longer than the poor.

Suggested Citation

Kanbur, Ravi and Mukherjee, Diganta, Premature Mortality and Poverty Measurement. Bulletin of Economic Research, Vol. 59, No. 4, pp. 339-359, October 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1015629 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0307-3378.2007.00265.x

Ravi Kanbur

Cornell University ( email )

301-J Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-7966 (Phone)
607-255-9984 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kanbur.dyson.cornell.edu

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Diganta Mukherjee (Contact Author)

Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi - Economic Research Unit ( email )

203 B. T. Road
Calcutta, 700 035
India

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