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Joseph Siani
''A Multidimensional Analysis of Poverty using the Fuzzy Set Approach. Evidence from Cameroonian data''
( 2015, Vol. 35 No.3 )
In economics poverty has most often been assessed by resorting to monetary variables, and its manifestation perceived as dichotomous. This analysis is based upon the splitting of the population into poor and non-poor according to a poverty line. However, since the seminal works of Townsend (1979) and Sen (1985), the concept of poverty has evolved to incorporate aspects of well-being not captured by income measures alone. Moreover, dividing the population by means of an arbitrary poverty line is seen as unrealistic (Cerioli and Zani, 1990). The totally fuzzy approach of Cerioli and Zani (1990) is discussed and applied to Cameroon using data from the ECAM3 survey (2007). Monetary and non-monetary indicators are combined to estimate the fuzzy index of poverty (FIP). Furthermore, the paper contrasts the income headcount ratio with the fuzzy poverty estimates. The results reveal that poverty was higher in 2007, contrary to the country's official report of a lower poverty index for the same year, indicating that the traditional money metric approach does not accurately identify the most deprived in society.
Keywords: fuzzy set, membership function, multidimensional poverty, Cameroon, Recommendations
JEL: I3 - Welfare and Poverty: General
Manuscript Received : Nov 26 2014 Manuscript Accepted : Sep 22 2015

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