Measuring Multidimensional Poverty in India: A New Proposal

OPHI Working Paper No. 15

51 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2011 Last revised: 20 Nov 2015

See all articles by Sabina Alkire

Sabina Alkire

Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative

Suman Seth

University of Leeds - Economics Division; University of Oxford - Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative

Date Written: September 1, 2008

Abstract

This paper focuses on the methodology by which India’s 2002 Below the Poverty Line (BPL) census data identify the poor and construct a BPL headcount. Using the BPL 2002 methodology and NFHS (National Family Health Survey) data, it identifies which rural families would have been considered BPL were NFHS (National Family Health Survey) data used. It compares these to poor families that would be identified using the same variables with the Alkire Foster multidimensional poverty methodology. It finds that up to 12 per cent of the poor sample population and 33 per cent of the extreme poor could be misclassified as non-poor by the pseudo-BPL method. The paper also develops a sample Index of Deprivation that responds to criticisms regarding BPL data. We compare these results with income poverty and with pseudo-BPL status for sample respondents and disaggregate the index by state and break it down by dimension.

Keywords: India, BPL, poverty measurement, multidimensional poverty, capability approach, poverty indices

JEL Classification: I3, I32

Suggested Citation

Alkire, Sabina and Seth, Suman, Measuring Multidimensional Poverty in India: A New Proposal (September 1, 2008). OPHI Working Paper No. 15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1815355 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1815355

Sabina Alkire (Contact Author)

Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative ( email )

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

Suman Seth

University of Leeds - Economics Division ( email )

Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom
+44(0)1133432629 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://business.leeds.ac.uk/about-us/our-people/staff-directory/profile/suman-seth/

University of Oxford - Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative

3 Mansfield Road
Queen Elizabeth House
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3TB
United Kingdom
+44 1865 618643 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://ophi.org.uk/about/people/research-associates-and-advisors/suman-seth/

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