Understanding Poverty: Comparing Basic Needs Approach and Capability Approach
14 Pages Posted: 24 May 2012
Date Written: May 8, 2012
The concept of poverty needs a clear and practical definition. This article examines the basic needs approach as well as the capability approach and compares their key characteristics. They have diverse philosophical underpinnings and thus results in different definition. The former one focuses on consumption while the latter one focuses on people’s values and choices. Given the differences between these two approaches, they lead to different poverty reduction strategies. Moreover, they also operate under different power relationships and applied at different levels of government. Nevertheless, each of them exhibits distinctive strengths and weaknesses. This article explores an integrative and practical solution for understanding poverty.
Keywords: poverty, basic needs, capability, human development, freedom
JEL Classification: I30, I31, I32, O19
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