Alternative weighting structures for multidimensional poverty assessment

A multidimensional poverty assessment requires a weighting scheme to aggregate the well-being dimensions considered. We use Alkire and Foster’s (2011a) framework to discuss the channels through which a change of the weighting structure affects the outcomes of the analysis in terms of overall poverty assessment, its dimensional and subgroup decomposability and policy prescriptions. We exploit the Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe to evaluate how alternative weighting structures affect the measurement of poverty for the population of over 50s in ten European countries. Further, we show that in our empirical exercise the results based on hedonic weights estimated on the basis of life satisfaction self-assessments are robust to the presence of heterogeneous response styles across respondents.

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