Building a Material Deprivation Index in a Multinational Context: Lessons from the EU Experience.

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Social indicators can play an important role not only at national but also international level, in making it possible to compare the living conditions in different countries according to a set of commonly agreed criteria. For them to play this role in a multinational context, their construction needs to follow methodological principles that ensure their relevance and comparability across countries. This chapter argues that the Euro-Mediterranean countries can benefit from the European Union (EU) experience in building a common framework for monitoring, understanding and also fighting poverty and social exclusion. As a concrete example, it discusses methodological issues raised by the construction of indicators on material deprivation, defined as an enforced lack of a combination of items depicting some aspects of living conditions related to housing conditions, possession of durables and capacity to afford basic requirements. More specifically, this chapter focuses on the selection of items, their dimensional structure, their aggregation in a synthetic measure and their weighting. It also puts in perspective material deprivation and income-based poverty indicators to emphasise the complementarity of the two approaches when applied to a group of countries with heterogeneous standards of living. It covers 24 EU countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPoverty and Social Exclusion around the Mediterranean Sea
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages29
ISBN (Print)978-1-4614-5262-1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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