The Colombian Multidimensional Poverty Index: measuring poverty in a public policy context

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

May 15, 2016


Previous multidimensional indices for the Colombian context, such as the Unmet Basic Needs Index or the Living Conditions
Index, have lost their public policy relevance and arguably have become
poor instruments for poverty measurement. This paper presents the
Colombian Multidimensional Poverty Index (CMPI), a synthetic indicator
that overcomes the methodological problems from previous
multidimensional indices and has a broad public policy scope of use. The
CMPI is based on the methodology of Alkire and Foster (J Public Econ
95:476–478, 2011a)
and is composed of five dimensions (education of household members,
childhood and youth conditions, health, employment and access to
household utilities and living conditions). Additionally, it uses a
nested weighting structure, where each dimension is equally weighted, as
is each indicator within each dimension. This paper proposes the CMPI
for tracking multiple deprivations across the national territory, to
monitor public policies by sector and to design poverty reduction goals,
among other public policy uses. Analysis of the results demonstrates
that multidimensional poverty in Colombia decreased between 1997 and
2010 in both urban and rural areas, but imbalances remain.

Published in

Social Indicators Research

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 127 , p.1 -38






Not held in Research Library - bibliographic reference only

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