How we see poverty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How we think about poverty is colored by how we measure it. For economists, that often means seeing poverty through quantities measured in large, representative surveys. The surveys give a comprehensive view, but favor breadth over depth. Typical economic surveys are limited in their ability to tease out informal activity, and, while they capture yearly sums, they offer little about how the year was actually lived by families. Year-long financial diaries provide a complementary way of seeing poverty, with a focus on week by week choices and challenges. The result is a re-framing of poverty and its relationship to money, calling for greater attention to financial access and a broader notion of how finance matters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalField Actions Science Report
Issue numberSPL
StatePublished - 2012


  • Consumption smoothing
  • Financial access
  • Financial diaries
  • Microfinance
  • Poverty lines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Education
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'How we see poverty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this