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The Monetary Approach to Poverty: A Survey of Concepts and Methods
This paper briefly surveys the monetary approach to poverty measurement - a set of techniques and methodologies, adopted mostly by economists, based on the identification of poverty with a shortfall in a monetary indicator and the 'objective' derivation of a poverty line. In order to describe these methodologies, the underlying rationale and the factors which have contributed to the current shape of this 'approach', we start by discussing the origins of such an approach. This allows us to substantiate our claim about the peculiar and measurement driven nature of this approach to the definition of poverty, as well as critically assessing the extent to which the 'objectivity' of the methods makes the results immune from value judgements. Further, this allows us to identify some crucial features of this approach, which will be discussed with respect to current developments in the literature.