Very Poor, For a Long Time, in Many Ways... Defining the Poorest for Policymakers

25 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2010

See all articles by Karen Moore

Karen Moore

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ursula Grant

Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

David Hulme

University of Manchester - Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM)

Andrew Shepherd

Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Date Written: December 2008

Abstract

This paper introduces the ways in which the poorest are defined, conceptualised and counted, and attempts to identify the characteristics that make such poverty intractable in the face of policy. We apply the concepts of absolute and relative poverty, as well as those of poverty depth, breadth and duration, to explore where to draw a line between the ‘merely poor’ and the poorest. We suggest that the poorest tend to be those who face, or have faced, multiple challenges in different spheres of life, and outline the causes of poverty that is absolutely or relatively severe, multidimensional and/or persistent. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of why development policy should be concerned with the poorest at all.

Keywords: poverty depth, poverty breadth, poverty duration, methodology, policy

Suggested Citation

Moore, Karen and Grant, Ursula and Hulme, David and Shepherd, Andrew, Very Poor, For a Long Time, in Many Ways... Defining the Poorest for Policymakers (December 2008). Chronic Poverty Research Centre Working Paper No. 124, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1537182 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1537182

Karen Moore

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Ursula Grant (Contact Author)

Overseas Development Institute (ODI) ( email )

111 Westminister Bridge Rd.
London, SE17JD
United Kingdom

David Hulme

University of Manchester - Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) ( email )

Manchester M13 9GH
United Kingdom

Andrew Shepherd

Overseas Development Institute (ODI) ( email )

111 Westminister Bridge Rd.
London, SE17JD
United Kingdom

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