Testing Poverty Lines
In theory, a poverty line can be defined as the cost of a common (inter-personally comparable) utility level across a population. But how can one know if this holds in practice? For groups sharing common consumption needs but facing different prices, the theory of revealed preference can be used to derive testable implications of utility consistency knowing only the "poverty bundles" and their prices. Heterogeneity in needs calls for extra information. We argue that subjective welfare data offer a credible means of testing utility consistency across different needs groups. A case study of Russia's official poverty lines shows how revealed preference tests can be used in conjunction with qualitative information on needs heterogeneity. The results lead us to question the utility consistency of Russia's official poverty lines.
Eighteen papers, from an international, interdisciplinary workshop on measuring empowerment organized by the World Bank's Poverty Reduction and Economic Management network in 2003, address the challenge of evaluating empowerment and its contribution to development effectiveness. Papers focus on a framework for evaluating how empowerment influences the development process and for analyzing the causal forces on empowerment, with cases from Latin America; women's empowerment as a variable in international development; measuring women's empowerment; an analysis of household and family dynamics; psychological empowerment and subjective well-being; an investigation of the relationship between income mobility and perceptions of subjective well-being related to that mobility, using panel data from Peru and Russia; self-rated power and welfare in Russia; applying Q methodology to empowerment; analytical issues in measuring empowerment at the community and local levels; peace, conflict, and empowerment; measuring empowerment at the community level; mixing qualitative and econometric methods; assessing empowerment at the national level in Eastern Europe and Central Asia; the CIVICUS Civil Society Index; empowerment as a positive-sum game; democracy, good governance, and empowerment; and measuring democratic governance. Contributors include economists, anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, demographers, and political scientists. Narayan is Senior Adviser in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network of the World Bank. Index.
Gastronomic consumption practices are one of the main ways of forming the corporeal human identity, a marker of his/her cultural and social status. Specificity of food as a material medium of symbols and signs, which are assimilate d at the level of the most direct corporeal experience, determines its consumption as a complex system of communication links. Today, the practice of food consumption in the form of fast food is especially relevant and registers new forms and ways of communication, not only gastronomic, but also reflecting power and new gender relations. It can be argued that it is in the form of fast food (Mac-food) the symbolic content of food overcame and absorbed its physical and technical aspects.
This chapter addresses the relationship between class, family and social welfare policies by analysing the construction of the identity category of ‘unfortunate families’ in popular scientific discourses, governmental policy documents and discourses of social services, and by examining how those labelled as ‘unfortunate’ negotiate this identity conferred to them. The chapter shows that gender and class are closely intertwined in the production of this identity, as it is single mothers who are primarily categorized as ‘unfortunate’. In our analysis we draw on multiple sources of data. First, we analyse in-depth and focus group interviews with service providers and clients and participant observation data from a number of Russian cities. Second, we analyse various government documents and social advertisements, mass media materials, social policy and social work textbooks, and popular scientific texts published during the 1990s-2000s.
This article addresses the questions, What do children in urban areas do on Saturdays? What type of organizational resources do they have access to? Does this vary by social class? Using diary data on children’s activities on Saturdays in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area, the authors describe the different types of venues (households, businesses, public space, associations, charities, congregations, and government/tribal agencies) that served different types of children. They find that the likelihood of using a charity or business rather than a government or tribal provider increased with family income. Also, the likelihood of using a congregation or a government facility rather than business, charity, or household increased with being Hispanic. The authors discuss implications for the urban division of labor on Saturdays and offer research questions that need further investigation.
According to interdisciplinary theory of architecture and sociology by A. Amin and N. Thrift, presented in their book Cities. Reimagining the Urban, the light sociality is the main way of individuals interaction in city space. In this context, consumption appears to be one of the basic forms of individuals self-expression on one hand, and on the other hand - one of the basic forms of urban communication. We deal with consumption in its general meaning - as a complex of all individuals consumption-related practices that are transparent in space of light sociality. Consumption practices become agents of light sociality, producing ambivalent encounters that emotionally affect individuals realizing those practices, and those who observe them. In this way consumption takes part in governmentality of the city spaces.
This chapter addresses the relationship between class, family and social welfare policies by analysing the construction of the identity category of ‘unfortunate families’ (neblagopoluchnye sem’i) in popular scientific discourses, governmental policy documents and discourses of social services, and by examining how those labelled as ‘unfortunate’ negotiate this identity conferred to them. The chapter shows that gender and class are closely intertwined in the production of this identity, as it is single mothers who are primarily categorised as ‘unfortunate’. In our analysis we draw on multiple sources of data. First, we analyse in-depth and focus group interviews with service providers and clients and participant observation data from a number of Russian cities. Second, we analyse various government documents and social advertisements, mass media materials, social policy and social work textbooks, and popular scientific texts published during the 1990–2010s. This chapter begins with a review of Western theoretical discussions of class in the context of family and welfare in order to see how Russia fits into these debates. Western class analysis was considered irrelevant in the Soviet Union due to the supposedly classless nature of advanced socialism, but the transition to a market economy in the 1990s and the new kind of class society it engendered have made these discussions topical in Russia. In the second section of this chapter we offer a brief description of the main principles of the Soviet and post-Soviet welfare ideologies and the policies towards families. The following sections examine how popular scientific discourses, governmental policy documents and social advertisements, and social service providers construct class with the concept of the unfortunate family. The last section preceding the conclusions analyses how mothers labelled as unfortunate negotiate this stigmatised identity.
The goal of this chapter is to provide empirical evidence of the effect of differential migration strategies on poverty in Nepal. We model the effect of remittances and work migration on consumption of households with a migrants. Using the cross-sectional sample of the nationally representative Nepal Living Standart Survey of 2004, we estimate a model of household migration decisions jointly with the consumption equations by the method of full information maximum likelihood (FIML) with instrumental variables. The method takes into account unobserved household characteristics that could simultaneously affect household migration decisions and household income. We simulate counterfactual expenditure distributions to determine the effect of work-related migration on the levels of aggregate poverty and inequality in Nepal. While most of the recent papers on the effect of migration on inequality and poverty have controlled for heterogeneity and selection in terms of unobserved characteristics, to the best of our knowledge this is the first study using FIML to estimate the trivariate selection model in this context. The novelty of the study resides on separating different effects of domestic and international migration on household welfare.