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Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries

Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) Working Paper No. 38

United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report Office Background Paper No. 2010/11

139 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2011 Last revised: 2 Aug 2013

Sabina Alkire

Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative

Maria Emma Santos

CONICET-UNS/IIESS and OPHI

Date Written: July 1, 2010

Abstract

This paper presents a new Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for 104 developing countries. It is the first time multidimensional poverty is estimated using micro datasets (household surveys) for such a large number of countries which cover about 78 percent of the world's population. The MPI has the mathematical structure of one of the Alkire and Foster poverty multidimensional measures and it is composed of ten indicators corresponding to same three dimensions as the Human Development Index: Education, Health and Standard of Living. The MPI captures a set of direct deprivations that batter a person at the same time. This tool could be used to target the poorest, track the Millennium Development Goals, and design policies that directly address the interlocking deprivations poor people experience. This paper presents the methodology and components in the MPI, describes main results, and shares basic robustness tests.

Keywords: Poverty Measurement, Multidimensional Poverty, Capability Approach, Multidimensional Welfare, Human Development, HDI, HPI

JEL Classification: I3, I32, D63, O1

Suggested Citation

Alkire, Sabina and Santos, Maria Emma, Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries (July 1, 2010). United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report Office Background Paper No. 2010/11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1815243 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1815243

Sabina Alkire (Contact Author)

Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative ( email )

Queen Elizabeth House
3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3TB
United Kingdom

Maria Emma Santos

CONICET-UNS/IIESS and OPHI ( email )

12 de Octubre y San Juan
Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires 8000
Argentina

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