Lost (in) dimensions: Consolidating progress in multidimensional poverty research

Professor de Neubourg , UNICEF’s Office of Research Innocenti in Florence

Identifying, locating and profiling the poor and deprived persons in an economy are the most basic imperatives for good social- and economic policy design. Understanding why people are poor, remain deprived and pass on their unfortunate conditions and choices to the next generations, is the immediate consequential research activity. Multidimensional poverty- and deprivation estimates are important new tools in this undertaking and more than a decade of multidimensional poverty- and deprivation research has brought significant progress making analyses much richer. This paper reviews and combines the insights of the various contributions into a single internally consistent framework and adds an important element by emphasizing that persons experience various types of poverty and forms of deprivations simultaneously, thus recognizing that the experience of poverty is multifaceted and deprivations are interrelated. The framework creates conceptual clarity and overcomes the disadvantages of some earlier efforts: multidimensional poverty indices are “losing dimensions” by reducing the dimensions into a single figure; single dimension-based analyses have the tendency to get “lost in (the multitude of) dimensions”.

About the speaker
Professor de Neubourg studied Economics, Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Antwerp and Leuven (KUL) and obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Groningen. From 1976 till 1985 he was assistant professor at the University of Groningen. He published several books and articles on international comparative labour market studies, macroeconomic policy, productivity, poverty and child wellbeing studies. As Professor of Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of the Maastricht University he was also Director of the graduate program in International Economic Studies. He is also the founder of the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance and was the academic director of the school until September 2010. Between September 2010 and August 2013 he has been the Chief of Social & Economic Research at UNICEF’s Office of Research Innocenti in Florence, Italy.

Venue: Conference Room

Date: 12 September 2013

Time: 12:30 - 13:30


UNU-MERIT