Measuring Segregation of the Poor: Evidence from India

Title: Measuring Segregation of the Poor: Evidence from India
Format: Journal Article
Publication Date: 2016

There is extensive literature on measures of poverty, yet the question of how the poor are distributed regionally has received less attention. This paper fills the gap by providing a conceptual framework to measure inequality in the distribution of the poor. A poverty segregation curve is used to compare a region's share of the poor population with its share in the overall population. A unique contribution of the paper is formulating a generalized version of the poverty segregation curve. The generalized segregation curve also takes average poverty rates into account while ranking distributions. The segregation curves are used to analyze changes in the distribution of the poor in India since the economic reforms in the early 1990s. In the decades following the reforms, India witnessed high growth rates and declining poverty rates. Despite the reduction in poverty, our analysis is the first to reveal that there was a significant rise in segregation of the poor over time.


Dhongde S. “Measuring Segregation of the Poor: Evidence from India”, World Development (2016), pp. 1-41, doi: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2016.08.004

  • Economic Development
Related Links:
Related Departments:
  • School of Economics