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Research Paper CASEpapers CASE/167

On 'consistent' poverty


Publication date

Dec 2012


The measurement of poverty as ‘consistent’ poverty offers a solution to
one of the primary problems of poverty measurement within Social Policy
of the last three decades. Often treated as if they were synonymous,
‘indirect’ measures of poverty, such as low income measures, and
‘direct’ measures, such as indices of material deprivation, identify
surprisingly different people as being poor. In response to this
mismatch, a team of Irish researchers put forward a measure which
identified respondents in as being in poverty when they experienced both
a low standard of living, as measured by deprivation indicators, and a
lack of resources, as measured by a low income line. Importantly, they
argued that the two measures required an equal weight. In this paper, I
present a reconsideration of the consistent poverty measure from both
conceptual and empirical perspectives. In particular, I examine the
claim that low income and material deprivation measures should be given
an ‘equal weight’. I argue that, from a conceptual perspective, the
nature of the indicators at hand means that a deprivation-led
measurement approach might be understood to align with the definition of
poverty which Nolan and Whelan outline and, from an empirical
perspective, that it is the material deprivation measure – and not the
low income measure – which is particularly effective in identifying
individuals at risk of multiple forms of deprivation.


Related publications

  1. On 'consistent' poverty

    Rod Hick

  2. On 'consistent' poverty

    Rod Hick


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