Accepted Paper:

Comparing global trends in multidimensional and income poverty and assessing horizontal inequalities  


Daniele Malerba (German Development Institute)
Francesco Burchi (German Development Institute (DIE))
Nicole Rippin (German Development Institute)
Claudio Montenegro (University of Chile)

Paper Short Abstract:

The paper assesses trends in multidimensional, and income, poverty in developing countries since 2000. The analysis is based on a novel indicator, the G-CSPI, and a newly developed database. The paper also explores urban-rural differences, and the claims of a feminization of poverty.

Paper long abstract:

The 2030 Agenda has provided two new impulses in the struggles for poverty alleviation. First, poverty is no longer viewed only in monetary terms, but rather as a multidimensional phenomenon. Second, it is demanded that poverty is reduced for different social groups, addressing horizontal inequalities.

Against this background, the paper aims at: (1) analyzing trends in multidimensional poverty in developing countries; (2) exploring rural-urban differences; (3) examining whether a feminization of poverty has occurred. The analysis relies on a new indicator of multidimensional poverty, the Global Correlation Sensitive Poverty Index (G-CSPI), which incorporates 3 dimensions: education, decent employment and health. This indicator presents several methodological advantages compared to existing measures.

The results show that both income and multidimensional poverty have fallen between 2000 and 2012. However, the decline is larger in the multidimensional space as compared to the income one. There is also significant heterogeneity in the results across regions, pointing to the existence of poverty traps.

The findings also underline that poverty is predominantly a rural phenomenon. The large difference between urban and rural areas has remained nearly constant over time.

Finally, we find almost no gender bias in 2000. This contrasts with claims in the literature. Moreover, we estimate that multidimensional poverty has declined more among men than women, indicating a process of feminization of poverty, triggered mainly by the employment dimension. As most of the existing studies concluded that there was no evidence of the feminization of poverty, this finding is new in the literature.

Panel O5
Measuring and assessing multidimensional poverty