OPHI Workshop on Weighting in Multidimensional Poverty Measures, 26-27 May 2008

In constructing multidimensional poverty measures, it is possible to apply weights a) in aggregating variables within one dimension; b) in aggregating across dimensions; c) in aggregating across people. At each point of aggregation, we need to determine the parameters that define the marginal contribution of each indicator, dimension, or individual to the overall well-being (or deprivation), taking into consideration also the possible interconnections among them.

OPHI’s May 2008 workshop will consider a number of techniques to set weights for multidimensional measures. These include:

  • Participatory and expert-based approaches;
  • Survey-based methods to elicit directly people’s preferences (standard gamble, visual analogues, and willingness to pay) or making use of subjective-well-being surveys;
  • Statistical methods (factor analysis, principal component, and latent variable models, and data enveloping analysis).

The overall goal of the workshop is to identify the technical and conceptual strengths and weaknesses of each weighting technique, to clarify which techniques are best suited to set weights in which contexts of multidimensional poverty measurement, and how such weights are to be verified. A related theme, also explored, will be the robustness tests directed to assess the sensibility of results to different weights within a given technique and across methods.

Working Papers on weighting (short titles):
WP 26: Robustness test. By Foster, McGillivray, and Seth. August 2008. (coming soon)
WP 25: Willingness-to-pay and the equivalent approach. By Fleurbaey.
WP 24: Deriving weights for the Index of Multiple Deprivation… Watson, Sutton, Dibben, and Ryan.
WP 23: The impact of changing weights… Dibben, Atherton, Cox, Watson, Ryan, and Sutton.
WP 22: Restricted and Unrestricted Hierarchy of Weights. By Esposito and Chiappero-Martinetti.
WP 21: Characterizing weights in Multidimensional Poverty measures…. Mom Njong & Ningaye
WP 20: What good is happiness? By Fleurbaey, Schokkaert, and Decancq.
WP 19: Expert opinion and participatory approaches to weighting. Clark and Alkire.
WP 18: Setting weights in multidimensional indices of well-being. Decancq and Lugo.

Presenters and discussants: Sabina Alkire, Ricardo Aparicio, Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti, David Clark, Koen Decanq, Stefan Dercon, Chris Dibben, Jean-Luc Dubois, Marc Fleurbaey, James Foster, Jaya Krishnakumar, Maria Ana Lugo, Esfandiar Maasoumi, Aloysius Mom Njong, Michael Noble, Kevin Roberts, Kim Samuel-Johnson, Erik Schokkaert, Suman Seth, Erik Thorbecke, Verity Watson, Gemma Wright

Participants: Paul Anand, Marth Hoskins, Maria Emma Santos, Sebastian Silva Leander, Randy Spence, Gaston Yalonetzky

OPHI gratefully acknowledges support from the International Development Research Council (IDRC) Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA); and the Global Equity Initiative, Harvard University for this event.