ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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AChakravarty-D'Ambrosio View of Multidimensional Deprivation: Some Estimates for India

In assessing multidimensional deprivation, often the only information available to the analyst is the range of deprivation, that is, the number of dimensions in which each individual is deprived. The present paper considers a simple procedure for sensitising both the identification and the aggregation problems to the range of deprivation. It provides an exposition of a class of headcount indices which were earlier investigated as a class of indices of social exclusion by Chakravarty and D'Ambrosio. Additionally, the paper presents a graphical device called the 'D'-curve which serves as a representation of 'binary-valued' multidimensional deprivation, and a measure 'M' based on this curve. Finally, the paper offers estimates of multidimensional deprivation in the Indian context, employing data from the 1991-92 and 2005-06 rounds of the National Family Health Surveys.

'How Many Poor in the World?': A Critique of Ravallion's Reply

The EPW special issue (25 October 2008) on the new poverty estimates of the World Bank and the editorial that accompanied it have provoked discussion. This note comments on Martin Ravallion's critique of the EPW editorial.

Global Poverty, Inequality, and Aid Flows: A Rough Guide to Some Simple Justice

How one measures poverty and inequality has implications for a variety of policy interventions relating to fair allocation in a number of institutional settings. The distribution of international aid is an important case in point. This essay reasserts the importance of certain old-fashioned questions relating to international aid: what is the quantum of aid available in relation to the need for it? How may patterns of allocation, at both the dispensing and receiving ends of aid, be determined so as to take account of both poverty and inter-national inequality in the distribution of incomes? Can some simple and plausible rules of allocation be devised? If so, what correspondence does reality bear to such rules? The questions are addressed with the aid of some simple analytics relating to optimal budgetary intervention in the alleviation of poverty. The ideas discussed are clarified by means of data employed in elementary empirical illustrations.

A Reply to Sundaram and Ravi Srinivas

Ravi Srinivas S SUBRAMANIAN Iam grateful to K Sundaram and to K Ravi Srinivas for having taken the trouble of commenting on my article. In what follows, I shall try to respond to their criticisms as best as I can. Given constraints on space, I shall mainly address Sundaram

Examining the 'Creamy Layer' Principle

Once the validity of the "creamy layer" principle is acknowledged in any one dimension of application, or as an axiomatically appealing principle of equality at an abstract level, it would be inconsistent to deny its validity in other spheres of application. It therefore becomes a matter of some importance to submit the appeal of this principle to critical scrutiny.

Fractions versus Whole Numbers

Poverty comparisons across variable populations present certain fundamental difficulties, particularly in respect of the most "basic" of poverty measures, those related to some headcount of the poor. The most commonly employed headcount measures are the headcount ratio H and the aggregate headcount A. Each of these indices has its respective merits and disadvantages. In this note, a composite headcount index M*, which combines H and A, is presented. The poverty ranking of income distributions by M* attaches some weight to the ranking by each of H and A, and thereby avoids the possibly extreme judgment of either in isolation.

Unravelling a Conceptual MuddleUnravelling a Conceptual Muddle

For some time now, there has been growing dissatisfaction with the conceptual basis of India?s official poverty statistics, with specific reference to the manner in which the Planning Commission has sought to address the ?identification? problem in poverty measurement. Unfortunately, this has evoked little in the way of official acknowledgement, and still less in the way of official rectification; apart from which, the faulty procedures underlying the official methodology have been replicated in a number of ?non-official? scholarly studies. The present paper makes an effort to identify, within an analytical framework of elementary demand theory, the source of the conceptual muddle, and to indicate how seriously misleading it could be to continue to employ the official methodology (or variants thereof) in assessments of income poverty in India.

Manufacturing Hysteria

The unhappy fact is that illicit dramatisations of misrepresented statistics today are compatible with demands for ethnic cleansing tomorrow. Intellectually, morally, and politically, this sort of manufactured hysteria and diversionary violence must be strongly and uncompromisingly resisted.

Abusing Demography

Abusing Demography Religious Demography of India by A P Joshi, M D Srinivas and J K Bajaj; Centre for Policy Studies, Chennai,
D JAYARAJ, S SUBRAMANIAN Who forsakes measure, measure forsakes.

Moral Catastrophes and Immoral Reasoning

This essay is directed at, rather than against, the refined quietness of large sections of the literate upper-middle-class-and-above population of this country on the dreadful carnage in Gujarat: the silence that informs ordinary conversation among friends and acquaintances, the silence of large chunks of the regional written media, the silence of influential men and women in public affairs, the silence of academic institutions which one might have expected to serve as 'natural' sources of principled and intellectual opposition to wrong doing.


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