An Analysis on Absolute Poverty in Turkey

Acet Dönmez G.

Türkiye Ekonomi Kurumu 7. International Conference on Economics (IceTea2021), 9 - 11 Nisan 2021, ss.43

  • Yayın Türü: Bildiri / Özet Bildiri
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.43


Poverty has been a prevalent problem all around the world for a long time. To cope with this issue, determining poor individuals as precisely as possible is an important step. This paper primarily aims at measuring absolute poverty in Turkey over the period of 2010-2018. It gives particular attention to the issues of the choice of welfare indicator and poverty line. In the recent studies on poverty in Turkey, relative poverty lines -some percentage of median income- are used because Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) has been announcing poverty lines only in that form since 2010. However, relative poverty lines reflect the distributional issues rather than poverty. Besides, they are typically suggested for high income countries where absolute poverty is rare. To use absolute poverty lines -cost of a bundle of goods and services satisfying a minimum living standard- is regarded as a better way for developing countries. This study, therefore, updates TurkStat’s old absolute poverty lines for the years after 2010 via consumer price index. Then, level, depth, and severity of poverty are estimated by using Household Budget Survey data. It has been found that absolute poverty has been decreasing from 2010 to 2018. Finally, national poverty lines have been transformed to the regional ones by considering the regional disparities in prices and average household sizes. The results demonstrate that individuals living in the Eastern and Southeastern regions are highly vulnerable to poverty because they are subject to not only the highest poverty lines, but also the lowest income levels.