Generalized measures of literacy

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We construct new distribution sensitive measures of literacy, by extending the analysis along the lines of the measure proposed by Basu and Foster [Econ. J. 108 (1998) 1733]. We extend the Basu and Foster measure in two ways. First, we characterize a measure where externality depends on the number of literates in the household. Second, we develop a measure where the externality depends on the number of literates-per-illiterate in a household. In both cases, we introduce new axioms that allow us to measure the externality better. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages11
JournalMathematical social sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004


  • Externality
  • Literacy
  • Proximate literates
  • Public good

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