The design of anti-poverty strategies requires good data on the nature and causes of poverty. Yet data on income poverty are collected at the household level. Thus, estimates of childhood poverty are based on the percentage of children living in poor households, which overlooks the possible differences in allocations among members of a household. For this reason, it is extremely difficult to report accurate figures on the number of children living in poverty.
In this paper, the authors consider and apply the use of adult equivalence scales - adjustments to the data to tell how much of household expenditure goes to each child - to assess childhood poverty in Vietnam. The authors review the different approaches to estimating child expenditure, as well as examining the theories and methods behind these approaches. By using adult equivalence scales, they demonstrate that conventional techniques have overestimated the incidence of childhood poverty in Vietnam.
Keywords: Vietnam, childhood poverty, indicators, methodology