Journal of Social and Political


ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)

Published: 03 January 2019

Defining Poverty: A Summary of Competing Models

Raywat Deonandan

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

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How we talk about poverty and low income is complicated by the competing methods for defining and measuring the phenomenon. In this article, I present a brief summary of the dominant methods currently in use by the governments of Canada and USA, and by the World Bank and large NGOs: absolute vs relative measures, low income cut-off (LICO), official poverty measure (OPM), global poverty line (GPL), human poverty index (HPI), and the multidimensional poverty index (MPI).


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