Spatial inequalities exist at all levels of disaggregation. However, the
nature and extent of these inequalities vary with choice of indicator
and geographical space over which comparisons are made. A given state
may perform extremely well on all indicators but there may be districts
within that state that are among the most deprived in the country. Or a
state may have very high levels of attainment on economic development
and health and very low levels of attainment on education and gender
No single indicator can capture the complexities of development.
Therefore, indices are generally estimated by aggregating performance
with regard to several indicators. This requires the identification of
variables to be included in the index, the range to be used for scaling
and weights to be allocated to the different variables. Decisions in
this regard tend to be arbitrary and driven by availability of data.
Changes in any of these factors can lead to very different results. In
addition there is the issue of choice of method to be used in estimating
The paper tries to identify chronic poverty at the district level in
India by using multidimensional indicators that reflect persistent
deprivation, such as illiteracy, infant mortality, low levels of
agricultural productivity and poor infrastructure.
Multidimensional Poverty in India:District Level Estimates, CPRC-IIPA Working Paper No. 9, Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), Manchester, UK, 21 pp. [This paper has been published as a chapter in a book entitled Chronic Poverty in India, edited by Aasha Kapur Mehta, Sourabh Ghosh, Deepa Chatterjee, Nikhila Menon, IIPA/CPRC, 2003, 389 pp.]
Multidimensional Poverty in India: District Level Estimates, CPRC-IIPA Working Paper No. 9