Income wrong tool to measure poverty: Sen
The way most governments measure poverty by basing it on income maybe a flawed perception of well-being, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen argues in his new book.india Updated: Aug 16, 2009 13:23 IST
The way most governments measure poverty by basing it on income maybe a flawed perception of well-being, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen argues in his new book.
Sen, a former Trinity master, economist, philosopher and mathematician, all rolled into one, in his latest book The Idea of Justice says the income approach to poverty, which considers people earning less than a certain amount annually as poor, is not an accurate measure of how well people live.
Instead the laureate gives precedence to one's capability or the capacity that people have of choosing and leading their lives.
Based on the capability approach, he says, "Poverty will be much more intense than what can be deduced from the income date" due to variations in the distribution of wealth within the family.
For instance, if the family's income is used disproportionately to advance the interests of only certain individuals, then the "aggregate family income" may not adequately reflect the deprivation of neglected members.