Defining And Measuring Poverty Of New Zealand Essay

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Defining and Measuring Poverty in New Zealand

Defining poverty is a consensual and contextual process difficult to achieve from the subjective view alone as everyone has their own ideas on what characterises poverty. Objective empirical analysis is useful only if the correct markers are identified and these can still be subjective because we can arbitrarily choose which markers to focus on. Furthermore, the importance or relevance of certain social conditions and social interactions will vary across groups and sub-groups and between individuals within those groups. Also, traditional use of income as the sole measure of poverty, at least in developed countries, no longer provides a definitive answer as the focus on equality and other social values become part of the formula. This study looks at; Ireland, England, USA, and compares poverty definitions and trends to determine if New Zealand can benefit from adopting overseas models for measuring poverty.

Definition of measures
Worldwide, there are three commonly used measures of poverty: absolute, relative and social exclusion. Absolute measures are a standard fixed measure (adjusted for inflation) and typically used for comparison of poverty levels between countries, and for analysis of time periods. Setting the poverty line at 60% of the median income is an absolute measure. Relative measure means having less resources than other people within a society. Social exclusion is an inability to take part in events valued by a…

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