On the Watts Multidimensional Poverty Index and its Decomposition

Satya R. Chakravarty, Joseph Deutsch, Jacques Silber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The multidimensional extension of the Watts poverty index may be expressed as a function of five determinants measuring, respectively, the impacts of what are defined in the paper as the Watts poverty gap ratio, the Theil-Bourguignon index of inequality among the poor, the overall headcount ratio, the weights of the various dimensions, and some measure of correlation between the various dimensions. Using the Shapley decomposition, we apply this index to world data on the per capita GDP, life expectancy, and literacy rates and derive the contributions of the five determinants defined above to the variation of this index during 1993-2002.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1077
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Watts index
  • decomposition
  • multidimensional poverty


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