The estimation of equivalence scales for Belarusian households and its impact on the definition of socially vulnerable groups in the population

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This article includes an evaluation of equivalence scales for households in Belarus. The equivalence scales are calculated from data collected from the 2010 household survey. Calculation of equivalence scales is made through the Engel curve regression coefficient estimate. This method is widely used throughout the world and, unlike the method used based on the minimum consumer basket (CPI), as employed by the National Statistical Committee, Belstat, does reflect the economies of scale which arise due to the optimal allocation of costs within the family. The resulting scale (0.6 for adults as well as the head of household, 0.5 for children of school age and 0.4 for children of pre-school-age) is therefore very different from the scale used officially in Belarus (with 0.8 for adults excepting the head of household, 0.5 for children above three years old and 0.9 for children over 3 years old).

The paper demonstrates that this has a significant impact on governmental estimates of the relative poverty of certain vulnerable groups, this being
of great importance for the development of an effective and appropriate social policy.

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Last updated 10.02.2016
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