This chapter combines the themes of poverty and inequality, within a measurement setting, with a view to elucidating some of the complications that can arise, and how these might be addressed, when we allow for a certain elementary obtrusion of considerations of ‘society’ into routinely mainstream notions of the ‘economy’. Specifically, the concern is with reckoning aspects of distributive justice from a group perspective, in addition to the more standardly individualistic perspective, with an emphasis on the sorts of conflicts which these alternative perspectives could engender, and how these conflicts might be reconciled in the process of seeking a real-valued measure of income poverty. The two perspectives of distributive justice just alluded to are handily described by Stewart (2002) in the terms, respectively, of horizontal inequality and vertical inequality. Much of received theorizing has been concerned almost exclusively with vertical inequality, which has tended to confine horizontal inequality, in a relative sense, to the unhappy status of what Stewart (op. cit.) calls ‘a neglected dimension of development’. The question of why groups deserve a great deal more analytical and empirical attention than they would appear to have received in the discourse on poverty, inequality and development has been dealt with fairly exhaustively in Stewart’s work, and therefore represents ground that one does not need to cover again here. Reference, in this context, must also be made to earlier work, notably from the viewpoint of measurement, by Anand and Sen (1995), Jayaraj and Subramanian (1999), Majumdar (1999), Majumdar and Subramanian (2001), and Subramanian and Majumdar (2002).
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