- First post by Duncan Green of Oxfam
- A critique by Martin Ravallion, World Bank research director and poverty measurement guru
- A defense by one of the index’s co-creators, Sabina Alkire, with
- My two cents, and among the many excellent comments:
- One from Gonzalo Hernández, who worked on Mexico’s MPI
- A response from James Foster, co-creator of the index known to development economists as one of the masterminds behind the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke poverty indices
At Duncan Green’s blog, there is a fascinating back-and-forth on the UN’s new Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) between its co-creator, Sabina Alkire, and the World Bank’s Martin Ravallion. This is very much a live debate in development circles. The MPI is a descendant of the earlier Human Development Index and is similar to the various Unsatisfied Basic Needs indices long used in many countries.
I agree wholeheartedly with Martin’s critique, but Sabina does offer a spirited (and highly hyperlinked) defense. Martin’s emphasizes two points: 1) what’s the point of aggregating a bunch of indicators into a single index? and 2) the choice of weights for such an index is inherently problematic.