Comparing poverty and deprivation dynamics: Issues of reliability and validity

C.T. Whelan, B. Maître

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    32 Citations (Scopus)


    In this paper we seek to establish if earlier findings relating to the relationship between income poverty persistence and deprivation persistence could be due to a failure to take measurement error into account. To address this question, we apply a model of dynamics incorporating structural and error components. Our analysis shows a general similarity between latent poverty and deprivation dynamics. In both cases we substantially over-estimate the probability of exiting from poverty or deprivation. We observe a striking similarity across dimensions for both observed and latent outcomes. In both cases levels of poverty and deprivation persistence are higher for the latent case. However, there is no evidence that earlier results relating to the differences in the determinants of poverty and deprivation persistence are a consequence of differential patterns of reliability. Taking measurement error into account seems more likely to accentuate rather than diminish the contrasts highlighted by earlier research. Since longitudinal differences relating to poverty and deprivation cannot be accounted for by measurement error, it seems that we must accept that we are confronted with issues relating to validity rather than reliability. Even where we measure these dimensions over reasonable periods of time and allow for measurement error, they continue to tap relatively distinct phenomenon. Thus, if measures of persistent poverty are to constitute an important component of EU social indicators, a strong case can be made for including parallel measures of deprivation persistence and continuing to explore the relationship between them.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)303-323
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Economic Inequality
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2006

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2006 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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