Defining Poverty Essay

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When it comes to poverty, there is the magnitude of definitions explaining the term. The definition of poverty has important implications from point of view of policy making, politics and academic debates. Each view has its own value judgments and explanations. Over the times, new definitions have surfaced the debates and yet, there is not a single universally acceptable definition of poverty. Definitions usually set the perimeters of the terminology and often subject to limitations and criticism. According to the definition of the World Bank, the term lack refers to the scarcity of economic resources while the term inability refers to the failure of competence to take part in a community (Bellu & Liberati, 2005). It is now widely…show more content…
When refer to define poverty, the difference between the traditional unidimensional approach and contemporary multidimensional approach for the measurement of poverty should be considered. While only one variable is submitted in terms of the traditional approach, for example, consumption or income, multidimensional approach, for example, Sen’s capability theory, expands the amount of dimensions alongside which poverty is determined. The multifaceted reality of poverty, conversely, makes it tricky to confine the essence of this experience by means of a single uni- or multidimensional approaches for measurement (Fusco, 2003).
Amartya Sen presented a path breaking argument for the measurement of poverty. Capability school of thought presented a multi dimensional approach for the measurement of poverty. According to his capability theory, it is not having the capability that causes and brings about poverty. For instance, he suggests that urban poor are deprived because they do not have the capacity to produce adequate incomes to consumer adequate food and nutrition and to make informed decisions and act in such a way that would ameliorate their living standards. Therefore, following Sen’s capability theory, the important elements in describing the urban poverty entail, one’s health, gender, ethnic status, nutritional and educational (Sen, 1992).
Sen has taken a unique approach to shift the attention of all economists and those involved in
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