Journal of
Economics and International Finance

  • Abbreviation: J. Econ. Int. Finance
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9812
  • DOI: 10.5897/JEIF
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 348


A survey of poverty and inequality indicators with an application to Southern African Customs Union (SACU)

Sephooko I. Motelle
University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, Cape Town, South Africa.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]; [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 01 November 2011
  •  Published: 30 November 2011


The article provides a brief survey of poverty and inequality indicators and proceeds to provide their analytical application for countries in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). Poverty measures surveyed, included money-metric measures such as the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT) indicators, while the non-money metric measures included body mass index and human development index (HDI), among others. The inequality measures included, inter alia the entropy measures and the Gini index. The results reveal that SACU still has to go a long way in improving poverty and inequality levels as well as the general well-being of its member economies. Some positive observations emerge on the improvement of gender participation in economic and political activities in the union. Botswana performed better than the rest of the countries as far as the fight against poverty is concerned. However, all the countries need to continue to implement policies that not only reduce poverty but also narrow the pervasive inequality in the region.


Key words: Poverty, inequality indicators, South African Custom Union.