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EEO. 2021; 20(5): 2338-2343

Poverty-To Measure or Not To Measure: Going Beyond Logical Positivism

Dr. Taseer Salahuddin, Dr. Akmal Shahzad, Dr. Numair Ahmed Sulehri, Sarah Qaim.

Since 20th century Logical positivism has firmly engraved the importance of logic and empirical quantification of everything in our minds. There is a deep-set illusion of objectivity in all the so-called ‘scientific’ method used especially in social sciences. Poverty is no different. Being subjective and multidimensional phenomena, poverty does not have a universally agreed unanimous definition. This has led to variety of measurement tools. Each tool comes up with its own results and recommendations which in turn lead to different policies and poverty alleviation strategies. Since the past decade there is recognition of the fact that uni-dimensional measures of poverty fail to capture the true nature and scope of poverty (despite the fact that they are still most frequently used measures globally). However, no one dares to question the need and purpose of poverty measurement in the first place. Furthermore, ideological debate about measurement of such a multidimensional construct for rankings and comparisons at global level has also not been questioned. Current study is an effort to critically review current poverty measures from this aspect and to explore answers to the above mentioned concerns. This article covers ideological debate and empirical concerns of existing poverty measures.

Key words: Poverty, Poverty measurement, Logical positivism, scientific method, critical analysis

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