LMIC Meaker Visiting Professor Luis Beccaria, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Buenos Aires

LMIC Luis BeccariaMultidimensional Poverty & Unsatisfied Basic Needs (UBN) in Latin America

2 - 14 April 2018


Luis Beccaria has a bachelor’s degree in Economics at the Faculty of Economic Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and a PhD in Economics from the University of Cambridge.  He is a senior research professor at the Institute of Sciences of the National University of General Sarmiento and a professor of Labour Economics at the Faculty of Economic Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires. Between 1982 and 1983, he was Head of the Economic Research at the National Development Bank of Argentina; from1983 to 1990 he was director of the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) of Argentina and from 2008 to 2012 he was director of Statistics of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC – CEPAL in Spanish).  He has acted as a consultant to international organizations including the ILO, UNICEF, IBD and UNSD.

Professor Beccaria’s main areas of research are Labour Economics, poverty, income distribution and social policies.


Sustainable Development Goal 1 – eradicating poverty in all its forms everywhere – includes the first ever international agreement to reduce multidimensional poverty by half by 2030.  Specifically SDG Target 1.2 is “By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.’

This is an important but challenging SDG target, as most countries do not have a national measure of multidimensional poverty.  Nevertheless, there has been a long tradition in Latin America of multidimensional poverty measurement which began with the seminal work of Professor Luis Beccaria and his colleague Alberto Minujin in 1985 in their work for the Poverty in Argentina Project. 

Both the Latin American Unsatisfied Basic Needs (UBN) tradition and the European material and social deprivation tradition of poverty measurement face similar problems with identifying the optimum sub-set of UBN/deprivation indicators in order to produce a valid and reliable measure.  They also face similar challenges with regard to setting weights and thresholds, with updating poverty measures as societies and technology changes over time and with making valid inferences when comparing poverty rates within and between countries.

A primary purpose of this visit learn from the long Latin American multidimensional poverty measurement tradition, particularly with regard to the excellent Social Panorama approach and  to also help to understand if the analytical framework designed to produce suitable, valid, reliable and additive multidimensional poverty measures in Europe is applicable to the Latin American context. 

During his stay, Professor Beccaria will be hosted by Professor David Gordon (Policy Studies).