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Applying the Consensual Method of Estimating Poverty in a Low Income African Setting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Shailen Nandy
  • Marco Pomati
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-726
Number of pages34
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number3
DatePublished - 5 Dec 2014


We present the first study of multidimensional poverty in Benin using the consensual or socially perceived necessities approach. There is a remarkable level consensus about what constitutes the necessities of life and minimal standards of living. Following Townsend’s concept of relative deprivation, we show how social consensus provides the basis for a reliable and valid index of multiple deprivation, which can be used to reflect multidimensional poverty. We discuss the issue of adaptive preferences, which has previously been used to criticise the consensual approach, and provide evidence to contest the claim that the poor adjust their aspirations downwards.

    Research areas

  • Poverty , Deprivation , Consensual approach , Socially perceived necessities , Benin , West Africa

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