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Gender and Multidimensional Poverty in Nicaragua, An Individual-based Approach

Espinoza-Delgado, Jose and Klasen, Stephan (2017): Gender and Multidimensional Poverty in Nicaragua, An Individual-based Approach.

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Abstract

Most existing empirical papers concerned about multidimensional poverty use the household as the unit of analysis, so that the multidimensional poverty status of the household is equated with the multidimensional poverty status of all its members. This assumption ignores intra-household inequalities. Additionally, households containing both a female and a male cannot contribute to a gender gap in poverty, so gender differentials in poverty cannot be estimated. But, the Sustainable Development Goals have put special emphasis on gender equality; therefore, new measures able to capture the gender differences are needed. Consequently, in this paper, we propose an individual-based multidimensional poverty measure in order to estimate the three I’s of multidimensional poverty (incidence, intensity, and inequality) in Nicaragua as well as the gender differentials. We also estimate logit regressions to better understanding the determinants of multidimensional poverty in this country. Overall, we find that there are statistically significant gender differences in multidimensional poverty in Nicaragua; but, they are estimated to be small and lower than 5%. However, the gender differential in inequality is larger than 10%, and it suggests that multi-dimensionally poor women are living in very intense poverty when compared with multi-dimensionally poor men. We also find that the elderly and children are the most vulnerable people in terms of multidimensional poverty in this country; furthermore, when information on employment, domestic work, and social protection is considered in the analysis, the gender gaps become more substantial, and women are more likely to be poor than men.

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