No. 527 - A comparative evaluation of poverty measures in the Italian Survey of Household Income and Wealth

Vai alla versione italiana Site Search

by Giovanni D'AlessioNovember 2019

This paper makes a comparative study of some variants of the most frequently used poverty indices, obtained by modifying the welfare indicator, the equivalence scale, the local price adjustment index and the statistic used to identify the poverty threshold. I also look at the ISEE, an indicator used to access social benefits in Italy that has a specific combination of income and assets and its own equivalence scale.

Using data from the Bank of Italy’s surveys of household income and wealth (SHIW) 2004-16, I first analyse how the incidence of poverty varies according to different definitions; then I look at how the different variants are associated with an indicator of inability to make ends meet. The highest association with subjectively poor economic conditions is found for indicators combining  income and wealth, while consumption provides more modest results.

Published in 2020 in: Politica economica/Journal of Economic Policy, v. 36, 1, pp. 101-140