A new approach to poverty in Brazil: a bidimensional measurement of well-being

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Please cite the paper as:
Lilian Ribeiro and Emerson Luis Lemos Marinho, (2014), A new approach to poverty in Brazil: a bidimensional measurement of well-being, World Economics Association (WEA) Conferences, No. 1 2014, Is a more inclusive and sustainable development possible in Brazil?, 5th May to 12th August 2014

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Abstract

The paper analyzes the poverty of Brazilian families through a two-dimensional measure of poverty that considers both the income and the allocation of time. In this sense, using the methodology proposed by Vickery (1977) in which poverty isoquant curves are constructed for each type of family constitution to identify the proportion of generalized poor. This methodology also identifies the proportion of families who are in a state of involuntary poverty (temporary). As expected, poverty rates increase significantly when the time is counted as a resource, because working parents, especially single parents often do not have enough time to perform essential housekeeping time. It is noticed that there is a higher proportion of poor widespread among lone parents and among those with more children. Another result, for example, is that around 20% of single parents with a child are characterized as involuntary poor and that the highest rates of unintended poor are from households with a higher number of children. These results verified that this article have important implications in relation to government income transfer programs. Indeed, there could be cases where a family with more children were less poor income that a family with fewer children, but in widespread poverty measure occurred otherwise. Additionally, these programs should distinguish between voluntary and involuntary poverty. After all, if this is not taken into account these programs benefiting poor households could be voluntary. Another point that deserves special attention these programs are high proportions of poor single-parent families compared to other family types, especially for those with larger numbers of children. Since the proportion of poverty for a family consisting of a single parent with no child is 77.1%, while for a family with four to five children this proportion is 93.1 %. After all, you can create a “vicious circle” of poverty, because the growth trend of these types of families in Brazil can generate poorest families in the future.


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