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Ongoing Debates and Research Topics

Sabina Alkire

  • Debates about the AF method.
  • Clarification of misunderstandings in the debate.
  • Discussions about the global MPI in particular.
  • Review of different research questions requiring further work.

Overview of Research Topics

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Overview of Research Topics

The list below is not comprehensive, but covers some of the key research issues that have been identified by OPHI researchers. Please watch Part 2 of the video to get a further explanation by Sabina Alkire.

 

Research Issues: Data for MPI

  • Can we improve international data for MPI calculations?
  • Should we ‘call for’ a survey having a specific set of dimensions and indicators? And which?

 

Research Issues: General data

  • Data Constraints: Most criticisms address these (why don’t you include _____?).
  • identify ‘new’ questionnaires on standard surveys
  • identify ‘new’ dimensions
  • survey problems: individual level data, excluded populations
  • the consequence of the combination of surveys, administrative data, mapping
  • the consequence of the combination of data for different reference groups

 

Research issues: implementation of multidimensional measures

The example of the international MPI

  • Robustness checks (weights, bootstrapping, household size, indicators)
  • Aggregation within households – what biases exist?
  • Households without eligible populations – the impact on the measure?
  • Comparisons across surveys from different years – sample, respondents
  • Thorough investigation into the assets indicator in the living standard dimension
  • Indicator scrutiny: Stunting, Quality of Education, etc
  • Which are the ideal indicators to use for an international MPI?
  • Development of MPI-2 appropriate for countries with higher human development.
  • Rural/Urban poverty? Should we adjust urban indicators?
  • The impact of overlooked populations: elder poverty

 

General empirical implementation of the AF method: (example of questions)

  • Statistical interrelationships among indicators – Systematic.
  • The relationship between income/consumption poverty and deprivations
  • Combining individual and household level data
  • Investigate the issues of intra household inequalities, household composition, predicting household deprivations on multidimensional measures
  • Weights (ordinal ranking)
  • Development of group-specific indicators (child, ethnic minority)
  • Multiple cut-offs with ordinal data (extreme poverty, poverty)
  • Develop multidimensional health indicators, quality of schooling, governance, child poverty, etc.
  • Use of biomedical data to set weights – nutrition measure

 

Research issues: the development of the methodology

  • Develop time series and panel data methodologies, expand to include chronic poverty
  • Robustness tests (weights, cut-offs, indicators)
  • Test statistics, measurement error, uncertainty, inference
  • Appropriate validation ‘tests’ for national measures
  • Algorithm for adjusting weights for ordinal data and M1 M2
  • Complementarity and Substitutability
  • Chronic Multidimensional Poverty
  • Axioms – for Chronic Multidimensional Poverty
  • Characterisation of AF
  • Axiom – post-identification decomposability
  • Use of ordinal data and the depth of poverty

 

Video

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Guide to the video

00:00 Introduction and outline

Part 1: The Different Debates on the AF Method and its Implementation in the Global MPI

00:49 MPI in the Human Development Report 2010 fostered debate and critique from Ravallion and national governments [see Alkire and Foster (2011)]

 03:05 Ravallion’s critique

03:58 Critique 1: a single index

10:01 Critique 2: why aggregate to later break the index down afterwards

13:37 Critique 3: attainment vs deprivation space

16:21 Critique 4: prices as weights

19:21 Alternative to index suggested: a dash board (see Identification and Aggregation in the Alkire Foster Method)

28:11 Critique 5: data constraints (can this be avoided?)

30:10 General critiques of international data by OPHI and others, OPHI’s response to data issue critique

32:55 Critique 6: lack of policy consultations/participation of the poor

35:09 The discussion and debate on weights

Part 2: Review of Research Issues

38:20 Research issues 1: data constraints, the ideal data, surveys etc.

44:34 Research issues 2: implementation of the Alkire Foster method. The example of the global MPI

57:55 Research issues 3: empirical questions

68:17 Research issues 4: development of methodology

Listen to audio

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Key readings covered in these lectures

Alkire, S. and Foster, J.E (2011). Understandings and Misunderstandings of Multidimensional Poverty Measurement. Journal of Economic Inequality. Vol. 9(2)

Alkire, S, Foster, J.E and Santos, M.E (2011). Where Did Identification Go? OPHI Working Paper 43b

Alkire, S.(2011). Multidimensional Poverty and its Discontents. OPHI Working Paper 46

Martin Ravallion’s critique covered in the MPI Debate