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Impacts of Policies on Poverty: Axioms for Poverty Measurement. EASYPol Series 008

This analytical tool illustrates on what basis a poverty index should be chosen. In particular, it discusses the desirable properties that a poverty index should respect. These desirable properties are called axioms. Four classes of axioms will be discussed:

  • focus axioms 
  • monotonicity axioms
  • transfer axioms
  • symmetry axioms

As users will see, there is no single measure of poverty that respects all axioms at the same time. Choosing a poverty measure may therefore imply a trade-off between different aims.

This paper is part of a FAO Policy series: EASYPol-Resources for policy making (in agriculture, rural development and food security). To find other EASYPol series' resources, go to the Policy Support and Governance website>Resources and type "EASYPol" in the free text search.

Bellu, L.G., Liberati, P.