Resources, Deprivation, and Poverty


Poverty alleviation is a central aim of economic and social policy, and yet there is no consensus about what poverty means or how it is best measured. Often, the households below an income poverty line are counted as poor, but there may be no firm basis for concentrating on that particular income level. There may also be wide variations among the households below any income poverty line in terms of their actual living standards. This book explores what poverty means in developed countries, and shows that understanding and measuring it requires widening the focus beyond curent income. By using broader measures of resources and information on living patterns and concrete indicators of deprivation, it shows how those who are effectively excluded from participation in society due to a lack of resources can be more accurately identified, and the processes producing such exclusion better understood. The core issue of this book is how to define and measure poverty in relatively rich countries in a way which is valid, meaningful in the context, and valuable for policy-making. Extensive tables of data from a specially designed survey of a large representative sample of Irish households are used to illustrate this issue.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Oxford
Publication year:
  • 1996