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Bálint Menyhért on "Measuring and monitoring absolute poverty in Europe"
Bálint Menyhért on "Measuring and monitoring absolute poverty in Europe"

Wed, 29 Mar



Bálint Menyhért on "Measuring and monitoring absolute poverty in Europe"

The webinar will discuss several topics such as the current framework of social measurement in the EU, main aspects of absolute poverty measurement, international comparability in poverty measurement, and many more.

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Time & Location

29 Mar 2023, 16:00 GMT+2



Bálint Menyhért is a researcher at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. He is an empirical economist interested in applied micro- and macroeconomics, labour markets, social policy analysis and the economic history of Central and Eastern Europe. He currently works as a research economist at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy. His main activities focus on socio-economic resilience, poverty measurement and the social effects of rising inflation. The ABSPO research project he coordinated produced the first set of cross-country comparable absolute poverty lines across the European Union. Bálint holds a PhD from the Central European University and has previous work experience from the OECD, the Hungarian Financial Supervisory Authority, and the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston & New York.

Webinar content:  

  • the current framework of social measurement in the EU
  • main concepts, data, procedures and methods of absolute poverty measurement
  • conceptual and practical requirements of international comparability in poverty measurement
  • the three main (reference budget-based, survey-based and food-based statistical) approaches to quantifying needs-based minimum income thresholds for a wide range of households in a customised manner
  • the size, distribution and historical trends of absolute poverty across the EU, along with the most vulnerable population segments
  • data and measurement aspects appropriate for potential improvements and further research.

Webinar learning outcomes:

  • different concepts and approaches to poverty
  • the existing European data infrastructure at the service of poverty measurement
  • main challenges associated with defining internationally comparable poverty metrics
  • different measurement approaches to quantifying needs-based poverty thresholds
  • the most widespread and policy-relevant measures of poverty
  • the empirical relationship between absolute poverty, relative poverty and material deprivation across the EU
  • scope for future improvement in data and measurement
  • various thematic poverty domains - from energy to transportation to affordable housing - where the presented methodologies may be effectively used in future research.

Webinar aims:

The webinar aims to give participants an overview of a recent pilot initiative - carried out by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission - on the measurement and monitoring of absolute poverty (ABSPO). Through the lens of this particular project, the webinar will discuss many of the central issues of poverty analysis in the European Union : the potential benefits of using absolute measures, the main methodological challenges and data requirements of international measurement, the potential measurement approaches and statistical techniques, as well as the the new insights afforded by ABSPO project on the size, distribution and composition of the European poor.


Prerequisites: Basic understanding of statistical methods and some familiarity with household survey data

Further readings:

  • Atkinson, A. B. (2019): Measuring Poverty around the World, Princeton University Press.
  • Menyhért, B., Zs. Cseres-Gergely, V. Kvedaras, B. Mina, F. Pericoli and S. Zec (2021): Measuring and monitoring absolute poverty (ABSPO) – Final Report, Publications Office of the European Union.
  • Ravallion, M. (2016): The Economics of Poverty: History, Measurement, and Policy, Oxford University Press.

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