Alternative realities? Different concepts of poverty, their empirical consequences and policy implications.


This paper outlines the objectives, methodology and findings of a project designed to explore differences in population estimates arising from alternative interpretations of poverty through a theoretical review of alternatives and by exploring how far the people identified as being in poverty in India and Peru differed according to the approach adopted. The theoretical review involved an exploration of the evolution of four approaches to poverty - monetary, capabilities, social exclusion and participatory methods. For each, the paper explored the existing literature and analysed strengths and weaknesses. The empirical work was carried out in Peru and India, in order to see whether the results were consistent in different environments. For both countries, we used a large existing data set, and a small purposive survey involving participatory methods.


S. Franco, B. Harriss-White, R. Saith, F. Stewart. Alternative realities? Different concepts of poverty, their empiricalconsequences and policy implications. In: Defining Poverty in the Developing World. Palgrave Macmillan, 9 pp. ISBN 9780230516724

Published 1 January 2007