A Vulnerability Approach to the Definition of the Middle Class

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collection.link.5
https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/9
collection.name.5
Policy Research Working Papers
dc.contributor.author
Lopez-Calva, Luis F.
dc.contributor.author
Ortiz-Juarez, Eduardo
dc.date.accessioned
2012-03-19T18:06:32Z
dc.date.available
2012-03-19T18:06:32Z
dc.date.issued
2011-12-01
dc.description.abstract
Measurement of the middle class has recently come to the center of policy debate in middle-income countries as they search for the potential engines of growth and good governance. This debate assumes, first, that there is a meaningful definition of class, and second, that thresholds that define relatively homogeneous groups in terms of pre-determined sociological characteristics can be found empirically. This paper aims at proposing a view of the middle class based on vulnerability to poverty. Following this approach the paper exploits panel data to determine the amount of comparable income -- associated with a low probability of falling into poverty -- which could define the lower bound of the middle class. The paper looks at absolute thresholds, challenging the view that people above the poverty line are actually part of the middle class. The estimated lower threshold is used in cross-section surveys to quantify the size and the evolution of middle classes in Chile, Mexico, and Peru over the past two decades. The first relevant feature relates to the fact that the proposed thresholds lie around the 60th percentile of the distribution. The evidence also shows that the middle class has increased significantly in all three countries, suggesting that a higher number of households face lower probabilities of falling into poverty than they did in the 1990s. There is an important group of people, however, which cannot be defined as middle class from this perspective, but are not eligible for poverty programs according to traditional definitions of poverty.
en
dc.identifier.uri
http://hdl.handle.net/10986/3669
dc.language
English
dc.relation.ispartofseries
Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 5902
dc.rights
CC BY 3.0 IGO
dc.rights.holder
World Bank
dc.rights.uri
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/igo/
dc.subject
ABSOLUTE POVERTY
dc.subject
ABSOLUTE POVERTY LINE
dc.subject
ABSOLUTE TERMS
dc.subject
AGRICULTURAL WORKERS
dc.subject
CAPITA EXPENDITURE
dc.subject
CARIBBEAN REGION
dc.subject
CENTRAL REGION
dc.subject
CROSS-SECTIONAL DATA
dc.subject
DAILY INCOME
dc.subject
DATA QUALITY
dc.subject
DECLINING INEQUALITY
dc.subject
DEFINITIONS OF POVERTY
dc.subject
DEPENDENT VARIABLE
dc.subject
DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS
dc.subject
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
dc.subject
DEVELOPING WORLD
dc.subject
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
dc.subject
ECONOMIC DOWNTURNS
dc.subject
ECONOMIC GROWTH
dc.subject
ECONOMIC INEQUALITY
dc.subject
ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE
dc.subject
ECONOMIC SHOCK
dc.subject
ECONOMIC SHOCKS
dc.subject
ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION
dc.subject
EMPIRICAL WORK
dc.subject
FARMER
dc.subject
FARMERS
dc.subject
GROUP MEANS
dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION
dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD DATA
dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD HEAD
dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS
dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD PER CAPITA INCOME
dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD SIZE
dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD STRATEGIES
dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD SURVEY
dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD SURVEYS
dc.subject
HOUSING
dc.subject
HUMAN CAPITAL
dc.subject
HUMAN CAPITAL INVESTMENT
dc.subject
INCIDENCE OF POVERTY
dc.subject
INCOME
dc.subject
INCOME DISTRIBUTION
dc.subject
INCOME DISTRIBUTIONS
dc.subject
INCOME EQUATION
dc.subject
INCOME GROUPS
dc.subject
INCOME LEVEL
dc.subject
INCOME LEVELS
dc.subject
INCOME QUINTILES
dc.subject
INCOME RISK
dc.subject
INCOME SHARE
dc.subject
INCOMES
dc.subject
INEQUALITY
dc.subject
INSURANCE
dc.subject
INSURANCE MARKETS
dc.subject
INTERNATIONAL POVERTY LINE
dc.subject
LABOR MARKET
dc.subject
LINEAR MODEL
dc.subject
LINEAR REGRESSION
dc.subject
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
dc.subject
LOGARITHMIC SCALE
dc.subject
LONGITUDINAL DATA
dc.subject
MEASUREMENT OF POVERTY
dc.subject
MEDIAN INCOME
dc.subject
MEDIAN POVERTY
dc.subject
METROPOLITAN REGION
dc.subject
MIDDLE CLASS
dc.subject
MIDDLE CLASS CONSENSUS
dc.subject
MINIMUM LEVEL
dc.subject
NEGATIVE SHOCKS
dc.subject
PER CAPITA INCOMES
dc.subject
POLICY DISCUSSIONS
dc.subject
POLICY RESEARCH
dc.subject
POLITICAL ECONOMY
dc.subject
POLITICAL SCIENTISTS
dc.subject
POLITICAL STABILITY
dc.subject
POOR
dc.subject
POOR HOUSEHOLDS
dc.subject
POOR INDIVIDUALS
dc.subject
POOR POPULATION
dc.subject
POVERTY ANALYSIS
dc.subject
POVERTY DYNAMICS
dc.subject
POVERTY ESTIMATES
dc.subject
POVERTY INCIDENCE
dc.subject
POVERTY LEVELS
dc.subject
POVERTY LINE
dc.subject
POVERTY LINES
dc.subject
POVERTY MEASURE
dc.subject
POVERTY MEASUREMENT
dc.subject
POVERTY PROGRAMS
dc.subject
POVERTY STATUS
dc.subject
PRIMARY EDUCATION
dc.subject
PUBLIC INTERVENTION
dc.subject
REGIONAL LEVELS
dc.subject
REGRESSION ANALYSIS
dc.subject
RURAL
dc.subject
RURAL AREAS
dc.subject
RURAL RESIDENCE
dc.subject
SAFETY NETS
dc.subject
SANITATION
dc.subject
SAVINGS
dc.subject
SCHOOLING
dc.subject
SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL
dc.subject
SKILLED WORKERS
dc.subject
SMALL FARMERS
dc.subject
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
dc.subject
SOCIAL MOBILITY
dc.subject
SOCIAL POLICIES
dc.subject
SOCIAL PROTECTION
dc.subject
UNEMPLOYMENT
dc.subject
URBAN AREAS
dc.subject
VULNERABILITY TO POVERTY
dc.subject
VULNERABLE HOUSEHOLDS
dc.title
A Vulnerability Approach to the Definition of the Middle Class
en
okr.date.disclosure
2011-12-01
okr.doctype
Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper
okr.docurl
http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/main?menuPK=64187510&pagePK=64193027&piPK=64187937&theSitePK=523679&menuPK=64187510&searchMenuPK=64187283&siteName=WDS&entityID=000158349_20111207160021
okr.globalpractice
Poverty
okr.googlescholar.linkpresent
yes
okr.identifier.doi
10.1596/1813-9450-5902
okr.identifier.externaldocumentum
000158349_20111207160021
okr.identifier.internaldocumentum
15534190
okr.identifier.report
WPS5902
okr.language.supported
en
okr.pdfurl
http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2011/12/07/000158349_20111207160021/Rendered/PDF/WPS5902.pdf
en
okr.region.administrative
Latin America & Caribbean
okr.region.country
Chile
okr.region.country
Peru
okr.region.country
Mexico
okr.topic
Poverty Reduction :: Urban Partnerships & Poverty
okr.topic
Poverty Reduction :: Services & Transfers to Poor
okr.topic
Poverty Reduction :: Inequality
okr.topic
Poverty Reduction :: Rural Poverty Reduction
okr.unit
Development Research Group (DECRG)
okr.volume
1 of 1

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