Poverty, Deprivation and Consistent Poverty
16 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2009
Controversy over the setting of poverty lines and its narrow focus on income has undermined the influence of poverty research on policy. The deprivation approach overcomes these limitations by identifying deprivation as an inability to afford items that receive majority support for being essential. This paper estimates the incidence of deprivation and compares the results with those produced using a conventional poverty framework. The results confirm overseas findings by showing that the groups most deprived differ from those with the highest poverty rates and that there is a low degree of overlap between income poverty and deprivation. Older people show up as faring better under the deprivation approach, while working-age individuals and families fare worse and the relative position of the most highly disadvantaged groups are worse in terms of deprivation than in terms of poverty. Deprivation also provides a clearer differentiation between those who can and cannot afford specific necessities than a classification based on low income, and is also shown to vary systematically with several indicators of subjective well-being. Estimates of consistent poverty that combine low income with deprivation are shown to differ from conventional (income-based) poverty rates, and provide the basis for future poverty measures.
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