Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



An Urban Poverty Line Estimate

Author: Abdul Wasay

A fundamental policy objective in developing countries is the reduction of poverty and the provision of an adequate level of income sufficient to allow for the basic consumption needs of the lowest income group. It is not an easy objective because resources are limited. Moreover, the definition of basic needs itself is difficult since these needs vary from region to region, and over time. Nevertheless, the poverty problem is sufficiently important to justify the development of practical measures of at least the biological and physical needs: food, clothing, and shelter. With such measures, a translation of basic consumption needs from physical to expenditure units and the calculation of an absolute poverty line is possible.

Abdul Wasay

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