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Cuesta, Jose, López-Noval, Borja and Niño-Zarazú, Miguel (2024) 'Social exclusion concepts, measurement, and a global estimate.' PLoS ONE, 19 (2). e0298085.

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Multiple estimates exist of global monetary and multidimensional poverty, but populations at risk of social exclusion still lack a worldwide estimate. This paper fills this gap by providing the first estimates of the share and number of populations at risk of social exclusion worldwide. The paper contributes to the literature in three important respects. First, it develops a conceptual framework of social exclusion that emphasizes the relative, multidimensional, and dynamic features of exclusion. Second, it proposes a macro-counting methodology that allows measuring populations at risk of exclusion based on identity, circumstances, and socioeconomic conditions, while advancing a protocol to avoid double counting of individuals at risk of social exclusion. Third, the empirical strategy provides to the best of our knowledge, the first estimates of populations at risk of social exclusion by dimensions of exclusion on a global and regional scale. Overall, we estimate that between 2.33 and 2.43 billion people—roughly 32 per cent of the global population—are at risk of social exclusion. The South Asia and East Asia and Pacific regions contain 1.3 billion such people, with India and China alone home to 840 million of them. Meanwhile, 52 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is vulnerable to exclusion, the greatest share of any region. Our findings have important policy implications. While antipoverty policies can support household consumption and smooth its volatility among the poor, they are unlikely to address social exclusion stemming from ethnic, racial, or gender discrimination. Therefore, addressing exclusion necessitates a suite of multiple interventions tailored to distinct groups and sustained over time.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Social Exclusion, global estimates
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Economics
ISSN: 19326203
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2024 12:37
Funders: Other

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