Developments in Major Fields of Economics
Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz
Chapter 33: Poverty
In the history of economic thought, poverty has been one of the most discussed problems. However, poverty did not mean the same thing for different authors. There are two main definitions of poverty: absolute and relative poverty. Traditionally, absolute poverty was the subject of attention but, in affluent societies, poverty is usually considered in the relative sense. In classical political economy, poverty usually meant a standard of living lower than the subsistence level, which just maintains the population at its given size. The necessary goods which compose the subsistence can be different depending on time and place.
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