Towards a multidimensional poverty index for Germany


This paper proposes a more comprehensive multidimensional poverty index for an advanced economy like Germany. Drawing on the capability approach as conceptual framework, I apply the Alkire–Foster method to the German context. Special attention is paid to the conceptual integration. Specifically, I argue for including material deprivation and employment as important dimensions, but against using an additional lack-of-income indicator. The results are consistent with previous findings and also offer new insights. In particular, I find specific poverty profiles (e.g., for the elderly), but also that gaps in poverty between subpopulations change over time. Importantly, the results suggest that genuine multidimensional measures add unique insights, which neither a single indicator, nor a dashboard approach can offer. Finally, the analysis reveals multidimensional and income-poverty measures to disagree on who is poor. The subsequent analysis of this mismatch lends empirical support to abandon a lack-of-income dimension.

Empirica, 45, pages 655-683

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