Poverty measurement: Prioritarianism, sufficiency and the ‘I's of poverty’

Economics and Philosophy 27 (2):109-121 (2011)
Abstract
The seminal contribution of Sen led to a new way to conceptualize and measure absolute poverty, by arguing for the need to ‘take note of the inequality among the poor’ . Since then, the ‘Inequality’ of poverty has become the third ‘I’ of poverty, which together with the ‘Incidence’ and the ‘Intensity’ of it constitute the dimensions deemed relevant for poverty evaluation. In this paper, we first argue that the interest in the third ‘I’ of poverty actually originates from a prioritarian rather than an egalitarian attitude. Further, we illustrate the inability of the three ‘I's to fully comprise the criteria for the assessment of poverty which are de facto adopted by existing poverty indices. Some of them resolve distributional conflicts by following leximin, hence assigning a pivotal role to the worst off. We question the desirability of leximin, and conclude that giving absolute priority to the worst off is plausible only in cases where the latter has been identified by an exogenous threshold demarcating a significant difference in human suffering. Finally, we explore to what extent prioritarianism and the sufficiency argument of Frankfurt , Crisp and Casal can help conceptualize giving absolute priority to individuals or groups indentified by exogenous thresholds
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0266267111000022
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,169
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Equality and Priority.Derek Parfit - 1997 - Ratio 10 (3):202–221.
Why Sufficiency is Not Enough.Paula Casal - 2007 - Ethics 117 (2):296-326.
Equality, Priority, and Compassion.Roger Crisp - 2003 - Ethics 113 (4):745-763.
Equality as a Moral Ideal.Harry Frankfurt - 1987 - Ethics 98 (1):21-43.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2012-08-27

Total downloads
17 ( #290,673 of 2,191,918 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #288,547 of 2,191,918 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature