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The Affluence Line

Jan Drewnowski
Social Indicators Research
Vol. 5, No. 3 (Jul., 1978), pp. 263-278
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27521865
Page Count: 16
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The Affluence Line
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Abstract

The concept of the poverty line has lately gained general acceptance in the discussion of distribution and development problems. For a complete clarification of these problems the poverty line is, however, not enough. We need also an affluence line which will determine the level above which consumption need not and should not rise. The main reasons for introducing the concept of the affluence line are: (1) Scarcities which constitute limits to development, (2) Social justice, (3) Societal deterioration which is brought about by affluence. On the other hand the arguments against curbing affluence do not seem to be convincing. There may be several ways in which affluence can be conceived: as subjective and objective, as relative and absolute. Consequently there are various ways of measuring affluence and of determining the affluence line. The methodology of that operation is explained and the policy implications of the affluence line concept are discussed.

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