Econometrica: May 1980, Volume 48, Issue 4

Ethical Indices for the Measurement of Poverty

https://doi.org/0012-9682(198005)48:4<1053:EIFTMO>2.0.CO;2-M
p. 1053-1060

Charles Blackorby, David Donaldson

This paper generalizes the poverty index introduced by Sen and demonstrates that (i) for every homothetic social evaluation function there is one relative poverty index, (ii) Sen's index is a relative poverty index and corresponds to a Gini social evaluation function, (iii) for every translatable social evaluation function there is one absolute poverty index, and (iv) ethical content in these poverty indices requires that the social evaluation function be structured so that any group of poor people is strictly separable from anyone richer.

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