This chapter compares alternative approaches to the measurement of deprivation and examines how they differ and the merits of each. It explains that the estimates of the overall incidence and structure of deprivation are presented and examined statistically to see if it is possible to identify a small number of items (‘basic deprivation’) that can capture the essence of the problem. It examines the use of alternative weighting schemes to assess the sensitivity of the estimates to the methods used to derive them. It uses the estimates to examine and compare the adequacy of the Australian age pension and other income support payments as a way of highlighting the valuable role that deprivation research can play in informing policy in the vexed and challenging area of income support adequacy.
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