Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Poverty Lines, What are they telling us?

Bronfman, Javier (2007): Poverty Lines, What are they telling us?

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Global and local Poverty has been subject of study since early times, now a day, it seems like poverty alleviation is one of the most important and complex issues countries and regions are facing, and dealing with. None the less, poverty measurements lack of standardization and comprehensiveness, making difficult to compare and deeply understand poverty and its related issues. This paper explores the relevant poverty measurements and thresholds literature, describes some common ways to measure and define poverty, acknowledges the large range of practices that governments and institutions use to gauge poverty and generate thresholds, and some of the challenges. Using household survey data and empirical analysis from a range of different economies such as Albania, Chile, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste (East Timor), and South Africa, the paper illustrates some of the problems of poverty thresholds -poverty lines do not represent a clear picture of poverty and deprivation-. The conclusion contains a summary of the findings and some recommendations.

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