Chapter 2 Poverty Indices

Poverty is an issue discussed since long time ago. As Ravallion (2016)Ravallion, Martin. 2016. The Economics of Poverty: History, Measurement and Policy. 1st ed. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. points out, Aristotle and Confucius discussed ideas about poverty. In fact, Aristotle’s ideas influenced Thomas Aquinas, one of the pillars of Western philosophy. Since then, societies changed, modifying the theories of justice underlying the idea of poverty.

As the concept and the ethics towards poverty change, so does its measurement. From basic measures like the headcount rate to more complex metrics, such as the FGT index, poverty measurement evolved. Nowadays, poverty measures estimates are calculated using household surveys and censuses (Deaton 1997Deaton, Angus. 1997. The Analysis of Household Surveys: A Microeconomic Approach to Development Policy. World Bank Publications.). Yet, only recently the aspects of statistical inference combining such measures and survey designs were explored1 For instance, see Deville (1999)Deville, Jean-Claude. 1999. “Variance Estimation for Complex Statistics and Estimators: Linearization and Residual Techniques.” Survey Methodology 25 (2): 193–203. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/12-001-x/1999002/article/4882-eng.pdf., Deville (1999)Deville, Jean-Claude. 1999. “Variance Estimation for Complex Statistics and Estimators: Linearization and Residual Techniques.” Survey Methodology 25 (2): 193–203. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/12-001-x/1999002/article/4882-eng.pdf., Deville (1999)Deville, Jean-Claude. 1999. “Variance Estimation for Complex Statistics and Estimators: Linearization and Residual Techniques.” Survey Methodology 25 (2): 193–203. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/12-001-x/1999002/article/4882-eng.pdf., and Deville (1999)Deville, Jean-Claude. 1999. “Variance Estimation for Complex Statistics and Estimators: Linearization and Residual Techniques.” Survey Methodology 25 (2): 193–203. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/12-001-x/1999002/article/4882-eng.pdf... These advances become even more important given the recent efforts in poverty mapping, an analytical method that combined poverty analysis and small area estimation, like Deville (1999)Deville, Jean-Claude. 1999. “Variance Estimation for Complex Statistics and Estimators: Linearization and Residual Techniques.” Survey Methodology 25 (2): 193–203. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/12-001-x/1999002/article/4882-eng.pdf. and Deville (1999)Deville, Jean-Claude. 1999. “Variance Estimation for Complex Statistics and Estimators: Linearization and Residual Techniques.” Survey Methodology 25 (2): 193–203. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/12-001-x/1999002/article/4882-eng.pdf..

The following subsections shows how poverty estimates and their sampling errors can be estimated using simple commands from the convey package.