Poverty lines as context deflators : a method to account for regional diversity with application to the Democratic Republic of Congo
Institute of Development Policy and Management
New Haven, Conn.
The review of income and wealth. - New Haven, Conn.
, p. 329-352
University of Antwerp
This paper proposes a particular methodology to render budget data more comparable over highly diverse regions. More specifically, a set of regional poverty lines will be derived and employed as deflators to correct household expenditures for spatial differences in prices and needs. The quality of these deflators depends on the extent to which the underlying poverty lines adhere to the principles of consistency and specificity. Central to reconciling both principles in practice is our pursuit for austerity in setting poverty thresholds as well as the view that differences in social norms mainly reflect differences in social inclusion needs. The particularity of the proposed method compared to standard practice lies in the combination of: (i) the pronounced subdivision in socio-economic strata; (ii) the use of a differential calorie threshold per sector; (iii) the introduction of protein intake; (iv) the derivation of a minimal house rent; and (v) the use of an austere non-food/non-housing allowance. The impact of this method is illustrated using a budget survey of the Democratic Republic of Congo.