Multidimensional Poverty in Europe. A Longitudinal Perspective

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Most analyses of multidimensional poverty use cross-sectional data. Consequently very little is known about multidimensional poverty dynamics at the micro-level. This paper uses panel data of the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) for 19 countries over 2016–2020 to analyse a multidimensional poverty index broadly consistent with previous work using the same data. Technically, I build on previous research proposing analyses of transitions in multidimensional poverty and its deprivations to illuminate processes which result in deprivations to accumulate. Specifically, I test whether (multidimensional) poor people are (i) more likely to enter a new deprivation and (ii) less likely to leave an already experienced deprivation than comparable non-poor. I show that both hypotheses can be explored in a single model per deprivation and argue that estimating a linear model is sufficient for this purpose. I suggest and illustrate that differences or ratios of the respective conditional probabilities may be computed on an annual basis. The presented evidence lends support to both hypotheses, although I also find cross-country heterogeneity. The proposed analysis is applicable to rotating and short-run panels and is not limited to the analysis of multidimensional poverty. Moreover, routinely computations of the proposed measures may provide timely information for policy makers.

Dr Nicolai Suppa is a Research Associate at OPHI and a Juan de la Cierva Research Fellow at the Centre for Demographic Studies in Barcelona. At OPHI, he works on several research projects. Since 2018, he also co-leads the estimation of the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (global MPI), together with Usha Kanagaratnam and Sabina Alkire.

Discussant: Professor Philippe Van Kerm is an economist, Professor of Inequality and Social Policy at the University of Luxembourg since 2017 on a joint appointment with the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER). He is currently a research fellow at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (University of Essex), the Institute for New Economic Thinking (University of Oxford), the Stone Center on Socioeconomic Inequality (City University of New York) and ZEW Mannheim. His research interests are in applied micro-econometrics, welfare and labour with particular reference to poverty and income distribution dynamics, wealth inequality, social mobility, wage, tax, social protection and social policy. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Economic Inequality (since 2017) and of the Stata Journal (since 2018).