Revista de Economía Institucional
versión impresa ISSN 0124-5996
GONZALEZ, Jorge Iván. UTILITARIANISM AND MEASUREMENTS OF POVERTY. Rev.econ.inst. [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.25, pp. 89-103. ISSN 0124-5996.
This paper shows the relationship between utilitarianism and measurements of poverty. Despite efforts to construct indexes that overcome utilitarianism's limitations, they are still profoundly influenced by the spirit of Bentham. It has not been possible to break the association between portions of wealth and happiness. Recent measurements of poverty -such as the multidimensional poverty index- are complements rather than substitutes of income-based indexes, such as the poverty line. Since it has not been possible to break away from utilitarianism, the best option is to take up the pertinent contributions of this school of thought, while at the same time taking on the challenge of going beyond utilitarianism. Instead of celebrating victory and proclaiming the end of utilitarianism, it is preferable to retake its central messages and seek that public policy effectively pursue the greatest happiness for the greatest number.
Palabras llave : well-being; utilitarianism; capacities approach; poverty measures; Sen; Harsanyi.