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Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master's thesis
Title Multidimensional poverty measurement in theory and in practice, with an application to South Africa
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Different poverty measures will label a given household as poor in one measure but not necessarily in another, leading to a misclassification. This thesis focusses on this misclassification for South Africa using the National Income Dynamics Study, where a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and an expenditure measure were used to quantify household poverty, leading to some households being misclassified as poor in one measure but not in the other. One reason for this misclassification was that the MPI was hypothesised to be dependent on the household’s demographics, with an adult fertile woman present in the household leading to a higher MPI for the household. Another proposed reason was that the household could use its social network to overcome its multidimensional deprivations, with the number of highly educated children outside the household found to improve the household’s multidimensional well-being. Lastly, government services significantly improved the household’s multidimensional well-being, which was the strongest observed effect and was robust when controlling for fixed effects. These last two reasons could partly explain why a household was poor in an expenditure measure while being able to overcome its multidimensional deprivations through its network and access to government services. An understanding of the misclassification could allow policymakers to promote the household’s network and improve its access to government services so as to alleviate multidimensional poverty in South Africa.

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