Totally fuzzy and relative measures of poverty in dynamic context: an application to the British Household Panel Survey, 1991- 1992

Publication type

Research Paper

Series Number



Working Papers of the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change


Publication date

June 1, 1995


Income based measures are inadequate for studying poverty as a state of hardship in living conditions. Nevertheless, research on poverty dynamics seems to remain based on income alone. Moreover, spells usually replace individuals or households as units of analysis leading to a concentration on the duration of poverty, losing sight of its severity. Fuzzy approaches to poverty measurements are a very effective and powerful tool for describing and interpreting poverty in its multidimensional perspective, but these have only been applied to cross-sectional data so far. In this paper we develop a fuzzy method for longitudinal analysis by adopting a particular definition for the transition matrix between fuzzy states and we present an application to the British Household Panel Survey data for 1991 and 1992. The implementation of the fuzzy method allows us to take into account both poverty duration and severity, leaving aside any assumption concerning poverty thresholds.



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