A Vulnerability Approach to the Definition of the Middle Class

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dc.contributor.author
Lopez-Calva, Luis F.
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dc.contributor.author
Ortiz-Juarez, Eduardo
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dc.date.accessioned
2012-03-19T18:06:32Z
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dc.date.available
2012-03-19T18:06:32Z
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dc.date.issued
2011-12-01
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dc.identifier.uri
http://hdl.handle.net/10986/3669
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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.
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dc.language
English
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dc.relation.ispartofseries
Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 5902
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dc.rights
Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0
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dc.rights.uri
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/
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dc.subject
ABSOLUTE POVERTY
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dc.subject
ABSOLUTE POVERTY LINE
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dc.subject
ABSOLUTE TERMS
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dc.subject
AGRICULTURAL WORKERS
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dc.subject
CAPITA EXPENDITURE
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dc.subject
CARIBBEAN REGION
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dc.subject
CENTRAL REGION
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dc.subject
CROSS-SECTIONAL DATA
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dc.subject
DAILY INCOME
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dc.subject
DATA QUALITY
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dc.subject
DECLINING INEQUALITY
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dc.subject
DEFINITIONS OF POVERTY
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dc.subject
DEPENDENT VARIABLE
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dc.subject
DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS
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dc.subject
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
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dc.subject
DEVELOPING WORLD
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dc.subject
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
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dc.subject
ECONOMIC DOWNTURNS
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dc.subject
ECONOMIC GROWTH
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dc.subject
ECONOMIC INEQUALITY
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dc.subject
ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE
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dc.subject
ECONOMIC SHOCK
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dc.subject
ECONOMIC SHOCKS
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dc.subject
ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION
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dc.subject
EMPIRICAL WORK
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dc.subject
FARMER
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dc.subject
FARMERS
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dc.subject
GROUP MEANS
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dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION
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dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD DATA
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dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD HEAD
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dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS
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dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD PER CAPITA INCOME
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dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD SIZE
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dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD STRATEGIES
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dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD SURVEY
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dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD SURVEYS
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dc.subject
HOUSING
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dc.subject
HUMAN CAPITAL
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dc.subject
HUMAN CAPITAL INVESTMENT
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dc.subject
INCIDENCE OF POVERTY
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dc.subject
INCOME
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dc.subject
INCOME DISTRIBUTION
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dc.subject
INCOME DISTRIBUTIONS
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dc.subject
INCOME EQUATION
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dc.subject
INCOME GROUPS
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dc.subject
INCOME LEVEL
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dc.subject
INCOME LEVELS
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dc.subject
INCOME QUINTILES
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dc.subject
INCOME RISK
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dc.subject
INCOME SHARE
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dc.subject
INCOMES
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dc.subject
INEQUALITY
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dc.subject
INSURANCE
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dc.subject
INSURANCE MARKETS
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dc.subject
INTERNATIONAL POVERTY LINE
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dc.subject
LABOR MARKET
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dc.subject
LINEAR MODEL
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dc.subject
LINEAR REGRESSION
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dc.subject
LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
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dc.subject
LOGARITHMIC SCALE
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dc.subject
LONGITUDINAL DATA
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dc.subject
MEASUREMENT OF POVERTY
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dc.subject
MEDIAN INCOME
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dc.subject
MEDIAN POVERTY
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dc.subject
METROPOLITAN REGION
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dc.subject
MIDDLE CLASS
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dc.subject
MIDDLE CLASS CONSENSUS
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dc.subject
MINIMUM LEVEL
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dc.subject
NEGATIVE SHOCKS
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dc.subject
PER CAPITA INCOMES
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dc.subject
POLICY DISCUSSIONS
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dc.subject
POLICY RESEARCH
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dc.subject
POLITICAL ECONOMY
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dc.subject
POLITICAL SCIENTISTS
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dc.subject
POLITICAL STABILITY
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dc.subject
POOR
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dc.subject
POOR HOUSEHOLDS
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dc.subject
POOR INDIVIDUALS
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dc.subject
POOR POPULATION
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dc.subject
POVERTY ANALYSIS
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dc.subject
POVERTY DYNAMICS
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dc.subject
POVERTY ESTIMATES
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dc.subject
POVERTY INCIDENCE
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dc.subject
POVERTY LEVELS
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dc.subject
POVERTY LINE
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dc.subject
POVERTY LINES
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POVERTY MEASURE
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dc.subject
POVERTY MEASUREMENT
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dc.subject
POVERTY PROGRAMS
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dc.subject
POVERTY STATUS
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dc.subject
PRIMARY EDUCATION
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dc.subject
PUBLIC INTERVENTION
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dc.subject
REGIONAL LEVELS
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dc.subject
REGRESSION ANALYSIS
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dc.subject
RURAL
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dc.subject
RURAL AREAS
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dc.subject
RURAL RESIDENCE
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dc.subject
SAFETY NETS
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dc.subject
SANITATION
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dc.subject
SAVINGS
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SCHOOLING
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SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL
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dc.subject
SKILLED WORKERS
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dc.subject
SMALL FARMERS
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dc.subject
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
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dc.subject
SOCIAL MOBILITY
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dc.subject
SOCIAL POLICIES
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dc.subject
SOCIAL PROTECTION
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dc.subject
UNEMPLOYMENT
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dc.subject
URBAN AREAS
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dc.subject
VULNERABILITY TO POVERTY
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dc.subject
VULNERABLE HOUSEHOLDS
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dc.title
A Vulnerability Approach to the Definition of the Middle Class
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okr.identifier.externaldocumentum
000158349_20111207160021
en_US
okr.identifier.internaldocumentum
15534190
en_US
okr.volume
1 of 1
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okr.date.disclosure
2011-12-01
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okr.topic
Poverty Reduction :: Urban Partnerships & Poverty
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okr.topic
Poverty Reduction :: Services & Transfers to Poor
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okr.topic
Poverty Reduction :: Inequality
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okr.topic
Poverty Reduction :: Rural Poverty Reduction
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okr.region.administrative
Latin America & Caribbean
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okr.identifier.report
WPS5902
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okr.identifier.doi
10.1596/1813-9450-5902
en_US
okr.unit
Development Research Group (DECRG)
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okr.region.country
Chile
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okr.region.country
Peru
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okr.region.country
Mexico
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okr.doctype
Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper
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dc.rights.holder
World Bank
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okr.globalpractice
Poverty
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okr.googlescholar.linkpresent
yes

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