COMMENTS ON THE ANDERSON TRILOGY: - Boats and Tides and “Trickle Down” Theories - Polarization of the Poor - Examining Convergence Hypotheses. Lars Osberg Department of Economics Dalhousie University OPHI Workshop on Robustness Methods for Multidimensional Welfare Analysis, 5-6 May 2009.
COMMENTS ON THE ANDERSON TRILOGY:-Boats and Tides and “Trickle Down” Theories - Polarization of the Poor - Examining Convergence Hypotheses
Lars Osberg Department of Economics Dalhousie University
OPHI Workshop on Robustness Methods for Multidimensional Welfare Analysis, 5-6 May 2009
New Measure “BIPOL”
Representative Agent empirical strategy
GNI per capita and life expectancy
Global & Sub-Saharan Africa
Identify permanently different groups
Multiple dimensions of permanent advantage/disadvantage
Objective – make tools to explain/predict subjective attitudes to structured inequality
“False Consciousness Problem”
Continuity, multiple influences usually a good assumption
Labour market segmentation literature argued structurally different processes within segments
Sometimes – discrete categories => qualify for benefits program => same formula => same income
E.g basic pension minimum for elderly, veteran’s benefits
Representative Agent Macro
Within country inequality assumed = zero
Cross-country results dominated by country size effect
What does Nigeria’s GNI per capita say about subjective attitudes or objective welfare/development in Tanzania?
Subjective Consciousness – worth measuring as predictive of political economy
“Class consciousness” / “False consciousness” ?
Objective Deprivation – long ethical tradition presumes that conditioning to acceptance of deprivation should be disregarded by an impartial informed observer
Unpalatable Implication here:
“in this case, unlike FGT3, inequality amongst the poor has a positive rather than a negative connotation embodying the notion that lack of identification amongst the poor lowers perceived poverty”
“Underlying the measures is the supposition that a society contains two classes of people the poor and the non-poor each observably characterized by measurable processes they experience.”
Permanent Disadvantage, along multiple dimensions, is focus
But class membership is immutable
Paradigm example: Caste in India
So why might the (securely) non-poor do anything?
Policy Motivation: Charity / Ethical Concern
Structurally different odds of entry / exit to state of poverty + uncertainty
Life chances => trajectory of well-being => anxiety about future
Insecurity about future – not just the currently most deprived
Paradigm examples: Sub-Saharan Africa HIV/Aids; Fistula
So why might the (currently lucky) non-poor do anything?
Perceived common identity, commonality of risk historically enabled social insurance, social wage of welfare state
“Framing Matters” – a crucial choice of poverty research