Analysis of Data for Measuring Food Availability, Access and Nutritional Status (Topic 16)

Training Material
[Income Poverty: Concept and Estimation]

Poverty, defined as income deprivation, is a major dimension of food insecurity. It explains inadequate economic access to food grains, and provides the rationale for policy options such as food stamps programmes, subsidized food distribution programmes and conditional income transfers. Therefore it is very important to have clear perception of issues related to concepts and measurement of poverty.
The general perception on poverty is that it refers to a situation when an individual is incapable of attaining the minimum level of economic welfare. This would raise some fundamental questions related to identification of the poor as follows: How does one measure economic welfare? How does one define the minimum? There are also questions related to aggregation: Having identified the set of poor, how does one obtain a summary or aggregate measure of their deprivation? Would it be in terms of an aggregate number of poor, or the extent of deprivation as measured by their income shortfall from the minimum, or some other measure taking into account the severity of deprivation? Policy choices could vary depending upon the measure one chooses.
Conventional approach to issues related to poverty dwells at length on conceptual and measurement issues. Of course, they are important. However, this workshop would go beyond simple conceptual and methodological issues. The very choice of technology to promote food and nutrition security can have disastrous health outcome as borne out by some case studies on countries like India. Empirical evidence on such issues would help broaden the scope of discussion on food security and nutrition outcomes.

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Date and language
Jan 2012
Personal Author
Physical Location: 
FPMU Documentation Center
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