Measuring multidimensional poverty: An empirical comparison of various approaches

Joseph Deutsch, Jacques Silber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


This paper makes a systematic comparison of four approaches to multidimensional poverty analysis based respectively on the theory of fuzzy sets, information theory, efficiency analysis and axiomatic derivations of poverty indices. The database was the 1995 Israeli Census that provided information on the ownership of various durable goods. There appears to be a fair degree of agreement between the various multidimensional poverty indices concerning the identification of the poor households. The four approaches have also shown that poverty decreases with the schooling level of the head of the household, first decreases and then increases with his/her age and with the size of the household. Poverty is higher when the head of the household is single and lower when he/she is married, lowest when the head of the household is Jewish and highest when he/she is Muslim. Poverty is also higher among households whose head immigrated in recent years, does not work or lives in Jerusalem. These observations were made on the basis of logit regressions. This impact on poverty of many of the variables is not very different from the one that is observed when poverty measurement is based only on the income or the total expenditures of the households.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-174
Number of pages30
JournalReview of Income and Wealth
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005


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