OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers

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ISSN :
1815-1981 (online)
DOI :
10.1787/18151981
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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market and social policy studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.
 

Measurement of Low Incomes and Poverty in A Perspective of International Comparisons You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
Michael F. Förster1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

Publication Date
01 Jan 1994
Bibliographic information
No.:
14
Pages
51
DOI
10.1787/112854878327

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During the past two decades, issues such as insufficient resources among particular populations, relative and absolute low incomes and poverty have occupied a prominent place in social policy research in many OECD countries. However, many different concepts have been used in the literature to define and measure ’low income’ or ’poverty’ across and within Member countries. This paper analyses alternative approaches to quantifying these concepts for the explicit purpose of international comparisons. It uses micro data sets on income from the Luxembourg Income Study for 13 OECD countries, for the mid- to the end of the 1980s, to illustrate the issues.

In Chapter II, the three main approaches used in the literature for defining low income and poverty - the absolute, relative and subjective approach - are discussed in detail. Chapter III discusses ways to adjust disposable income for family size and presents sensitivity tests using different equivalence scales. Chapter IV presents more ...