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In recent years, poverty has come to be seen as a multidimensional phenomenon that goes beyond the monetary aspect. A number of authors have grasped this multidimensional nature of poverty, including Townsend (1979) and Atkinson (2003), as well as some more recent authors. Studies by Ravallion (1996; 2010), Sen (1976), and Thorbecke (2008) show that poverty can be synonymous with poor health, lack of education, low income, precarious accommodation, hard or unprotected jobs, political disempowerment, and food insecurity.
There exist several different theoretical approaches to a multidimensional understanding of poverty, including the basic needs approach and the capability approach. Generally speaking, these approaches define poverty as a lack of opportunities or valued functionings (Alkire and Foster 2007; Sen 1984; 1985; 1987).
In Congo, some studies have been conducted using monetary and non-monetary indicators to define poverty. They include works by Ambapour (2006), Backiny-Yetna and Wodon (2009), Notten et al. (2008), Ambapour and Bidounga (2012), UNICEF (2018), and Ouadika (2018). These have all facilitated the analysis of household poverty and child poverty, but they have not provided data on the factors contributing to multidimensional household poverty in Congo. The research described in this article is distinguished from other studies on poverty in Congo due to its use of the Alkire-Foster method to measure the incidence of poverty and its attempt to analyze inequalities and identify the determinants of multidimensional household poverty…


In this paper the authors analyze multidimensional poverty and inequalities in household living conditions in Congo, based on data from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS, 2015), applying the approach of Alkire et al. (2018) and using inequality analysis tools. Three dimensions are considered: health, education, and household living standards. It emerges that 11% of households are in a situation of multidimensional poverty. Women (11.7%) are more affected than men (10.5%). Inequality in the distribution of non-monetary wealth at the national level is estimated at 38.3%. The Shapley decomposition shows that rural areas (26.3%) contribute more to inequality than urban areas (7.6%). The results of this study also show that household size, sex of head of household, age, level of education, place of residence, and wealth quintile are important determinants of multidimensional poverty in Congo. Social policies of poverty reduction and economic diversification directed at rural areas are necessary to reduce the scourge of multidimensional poverty.
JEL Codes: I32, D63, O18.

  • multidimensional poverty
  • inequality
  • area
Anki Yambare
Centre de Recherche et d’Études Économiques, Statistiques et Informatiques (CREESI) (Center for Economic, Statistical, and Computer Research and Studies), Republic of the Congo.
Dukken Gaphi Ossouna
Institut National de la Statistique (National Institute of Statistics), Republic of the Congo.
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This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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