Ethical Poverty Line

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= quantifying the minimum for a healthy life


Peter Edward:

"we need to develop a morally defensible poverty line. Drawing on established health literature, this paper innovates by linking an analysis of world consumption to life outcome data, all from current World Bank datasets, to derive such a poverty line, termed here the Ethical Poverty Line (epl). The epl is comparable to the $2-a-day poverty line increasingly quoted by the World Bank. At this level, the epl not only quantifies the substantial scale of socioeconomic change needed to eliminate absolute poverty but also raises challenging questions about the scale of over-consumption in the developed world." (

More information

  • 3 other approaches are:
  1. Kakwani and Son’s International Food Poverty Line (global/input-based);
  2. Peter Edward’s Ethical Poverty Line (global/outcome-based); and
  3. Morris et al’s Minimum Income for Healthy Living, and Reddy et al’s Capability-Based Approach (country-specific/input-based)