Multidimensional poverty: An alternative measurement approach for the United States?

Wagle, Udaya (2007). "Multidimensional poverty: An alternative measurement approach for the United States?" Social Science Research 37 2 pp. 559-580

International poverty research has increasingly underscored the need to use multidimensional approaches to measure poverty. Largely embraced in Europe and elsewhere, this has not had much impact on the way poverty is measured in the United States. In this paper, I use a comprehensive multidimensional framework including economic well-being, capability, and social inclusion to examine poverty in the US. Data from the 2004 General Social Survey support the interconnectedness among these poverty dimensions, indicating that the multidimensional framework utilizing a comprehensive set of information provides a compelling value added to poverty measurement. The suggested demographic characteristics of the various categories of the poor are somewhat similar between this approach and other traditional approaches. But the more comprehensive and accurate measurement outcomes from this approach help policymakers target resources at the specific groups.
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