Analyzing Urban Poverty: A Summary of Methods and Approaches

66 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

Date Written: September 2004

Abstract

In recent years an extensive body of literature has emerged on the definition, measurement, and analysis of poverty. Much of this literature focuses on analyzing poverty at the national level, or spatial disaggregation by general categories of urban or rural areas, with adjustments made for regional price differentials. Yet for an individual city attempting to tackle the problems of urban poverty, this level of aggregation is not sufficient for answering specific questions such as where the poor are located in the city, whether there are differences between poor areas, if access to services varies by subgroup, whether specific programs are reaching the poorest, and how to design effective poverty reduction programs and policies. Answering these questions is critical, particularly for large, sprawling cities with highly diverse populations and growing problems of urban poverty.

Understanding urban poverty presents a set of issues distinct from general poverty analysis and thus may require additional tools and techniques. Baker and Schuler summarize the main issues in conducting urban poverty analysis, with a focus on presenting a sample of case studies from urban areas that were implemented by a number of different agencies using a range of analytical approaches for studying urban poverty. Specific conclusions regarding design and analysis, data, timing, cost, and implementation issues are discussed.

This paper - a product of the Urban Unit, Transport and Urban Development Department - is part of a larger effort in the department to promote strategies for reducing urban poverty.

Suggested Citation

Baker, Judy and Schuler, Nina, Analyzing Urban Poverty: A Summary of Methods and Approaches (September 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=625276

Judy Baker (Contact Author)

World Bank

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Nina Schuler

World Bank

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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