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Journal Articles Social Choice and Welfare Year : 2013

Measuring poverty without the Mortality Paradox


Under income-differentiated mortality, poverty measures reflect not only the "true" poverty, but, also, the interferences or noise caused by the survival process at work. Such interferences lead to the Mortality Paradox: the worse the survival conditions of the poor are, the lower the measured poverty is. We examine several solutions to avoid that paradox. We identify conditions under which the extension, by means of a fictitious income, of lifetime income profiles of the prematurely dead neutralizes the noise due to differential mortality. Then, to account not only for the "missing" poor, but, also, for the "hidden" poverty (premature death), we use, as a fictitious income, the welfare-neutral income, making indifferent between life continuation and death. The robustness of poverty measures to the extension technique is illustrated with regional Belgian data.

Dates and versions

hal-00813214 , version 1 (15-04-2013)



Mathieu Lefebvre, Pierre Pestieau, Grégory Ponthière. Measuring poverty without the Mortality Paradox. Social Choice and Welfare, 2013, 40 (1), pp.285-316. ⟨10.1007/s00355-012-0710-2⟩. ⟨hal-00813214⟩
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