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Title: Constructing a reliable and valid measure of multidimensional poverty
Author: Webb, Calum J. R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 035X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis presents evidence that suggests a theoretically robust, statistically reliable and valid measure of multidimensional poverty can be constructed through the use of secondary data, factor analysis and associated statistical techniques. Competing 'quantitative operationalisations' of poverty (Lister, 2004: 6) are typically restricted by a methodologically necessary simplification to income. This ignores many of the complexities found in qualitative research and theories of multidimensional poverty, as well as central ideas about participation, which define the concept more accurately and fairly than income and consumption in isolation (Townsend, 1979; Alcock, 2006; Walker, 2014). Assumptions are often made about how broadly such measures can be applied and how accurately they reflect the underlying concepts they propose to represent. Although more recent attempts have tried to create more adequate measurements, these have been met with some considerable backlash in their transition into policy and are still constrained by a reduction to income, with limited scope for evaluating their reliability and validity. The research presented uses data from the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Survey and techniques from structural equation modelling, factor analysis, and data science, to build on the work of Tomlinson, et al. (2008) that showed it was possible to create a quantitative multidimensional construct that combines material, financial, and psychosocial dimensions into a single measure. More specifically, this study applies statistical techniques from the field of psychometrics to explore whether such an approach is robust, and can be applied equivalently across over time and between different groups. Producing such evidence may be crucial to developing our understandings of poverty in future, and breaking impasses in policy which result in selective uses of metrics and continual reimaginings of the concept which, from a social justice perspective, do very little to advance the cause and representation of people living in poverty.
Supervisor: Tomlinson, Mark ; Martinez-Perez, Alvaro Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available