Poverty within households: measuring gender differences using nonmonetary indicators

Sara Cantillon, Brian Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Conventional methods of analysis of poverty assume resources are shared so that each individual in a household or family has the same standard of living. Nonmonetary indicators of living standards and deprivation are increasingly being used in measuring household poverty. This paper argues that such indicators can be used for a rather different purpose - the exploration of differences in living standards within households. It illustrates this by using indicators of deprivation of the type used in recent studies of poverty at household level to measure differences between spouses in a large Irish sample. It then discusses the limitations of these indicators for the purpose at hand and points to the need to develop more sensitive indicators of deprivation designed to measure individual living standards and poverty status, which can fit within the framework of traditional poverty research using large samples. While the discussion is specific to Ireland, the methodology developed is relevant outside the Irish context, in developing as well as developed countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-23
Number of pages21
JournalFeminist Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • nonmonetary Indicators
  • intra-HOUSEHOLD
  • deprivation
  • gender
  • poverty


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