Measuring Subjective Poverty: Methodological and Application Aspects

Łuczak, A., Kalinowski, S. (2022). Measuring Subjective Poverty: Methodological and Application Aspects. In: Jajuga, K., Dehnel, G., Walesiak, M. (eds) Modern Classification and Data Analysis. SKAD 2021. Studies in Classification, Data Analysis, and Knowledge Organization. Springer, Cham.


The aim of the research is to propose a procedure for the construction of a synthetic measure of subjective household poverty. The proposed procedure takes into account the aggregation of factors describing the past, present, and future, making it easier to discern the issue of the sense of deprivation of needs. To this end, methods based on the fuzzy set theory were used. The fuzzy TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to an Ideal Solution) method was applied to the construction of the synthetic measure of subjective household poverty. The procedure also uses fuzzy hierarchical analysis to calculate the weight system of variables. The proposed procedure was used to assess the level of subjective household poverty in Poland one year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research was based on data collected using the CAWI (Computer-Assisted Web Interview) method in April 2021. The use of the fuzzy approach for the assessment of subjective poverty makes it possible to define its level more precisely than with the standard measurement. The proposed synthetic measure of subjective poverty is an attempt to explain poverty from the perspective of the poor. The quantitative measurement of subjective poverty at the micro (household) level is an important tool for assessing anti-poverty policy. Moreover, the subjective poverty measure can also be used as a measure of poverty sensitivity and can be the basis for formulating policies and strategies for reducing poverty.