Poverty alleviation is a central aim of economic and social policy, and yet there is no consensus about what poverty means or how it is best measured. Often, the households below an income poverty line are counted as poor, but there may be no firm basis for concentrating on that particular income level. There may also be wide variations among the households below any income poverty line in terms of their actual living standards. This book explores what poverty means in developed countries, and shows that understanding and measuring it requires widening the focus beyond curent income. By using broader measures of resources and information on living patterns and concrete indicators of deprivation, it shows how those who are effectively excluded from
participation in society due to a lack of resources can be more accurately identified, and the processes producing such exclusion better understood. The core issue of this book is how to define and measure poverty in relatively rich countries in a way which is valid, meaningful in the context, and valuable for policy-making. Extensive tables of data from a specially designed survey of a large representative sample of Irish households are used to illustrate this issue.
Readership: Sociologists and economists tackling methodological issues and theoretical problems of the measurement of poverty in developed countries; policy-makers in the same area.
Brian Nolan, Research Professor, Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, and Christopher T. Whelan, Research Professor, Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin
"Readers of this journal will be all too familiar with the questions which have bedevilled research on poverty ... This authoritative study makes a significant contribution to these and related questions ... This book should make a significant contribution to the analysis of poverty and social inequality. It offers a rigorous, ingenious and original contribution to some of the most stubborn methodological problems in recent poverty research ... For the 'professionals' in the poverty research business ... the book is, quite simply, essential reading." - Social Policy, vol.26/2, 1997
2.: The Meaning and Measurement of Poverty
3.: Income Poverty
4.: Measuring Deprivation
5.: Income, Resources, and Deprivation
6.: Income, Deprivation, and Poverty
7.: Class, Underclass, and Poverty
8.: Implications for Conceptualizing and Measuring Poverty
9. Implications for Tackling Poverty: