(Re)counting the poor in Peru: a multidimensional approach
Peru: has the reduction in "monetary poverty" been accompanied by increased access to basic needs?
Authors: J.F. Castro; J. Baca; J.P. Ocampo
Publisher: Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico, Peru, 2010
This paper addresses the debate between the recent evolution of monetary poverty figures and the levels of deprivation of the Peruvian population. The paper relies on a multidimensional approach for poverty measurement to measure the tension between the incidence of monetary poverty and the overall level of deprivation in terms of a set of basic attributes for human development.
The author indicates that according to 2008 figures, 39% of individuals lacking some of the basic attributes considered would be classified as non-poor according to the monetary poverty line. However, this proportion was only 26% in year 2004.
The paper's main findings are as follows:
- the reduction in the incidence of monetary poverty between 2004 and 2008 has not been accompanied by increased access to other assets important for individuals' well-being and ability to develop
- the incidence of multidimensional poverty is concentrated in Peru's southern highlands, beside significant deprivation in the northern Amazon
- deprivations endured by the multidimensional poor are concentrated on the health and dwelling conditions dimensions, and to a lesser extent on lack of adequate water supply and sewage service
As a result, the paper concludes a number of policy implications:
- to achieve a significant reduction in the multidimensional poverty headcount across most regions, policymakers should focus on the provision of improved water and sanitation services
- the fact that the main contributor to multidimensional poverty is similar across regions should not be overlooked as it represents an important opportunity to focus public investment efforts.