By Eric Clayton
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Others view poverty in terms of relative low income and hence focus on the degree of inequality .. Gini coefficient and the like. Perhaps it would be better, to work with a structural definition of poverty, in which poverty is regarded as a product of a social system and reflects differences in access of various groups to sources of economic and political power. Above all, a structural definition of poverty focuses attention on where one should look for remedies. The provision of welfare services and income transfers are ruled out because they do not remove the underline causes of poverty.
In its relative sense, it becomes totally elusive and highly politicised. It is enough to assert that development objectives should be concerned only with the reduction of absolute poverty - that will be difficult enough to achieve. The introduction of the notion of 'relative' poverty into the development debate is yet another attempt by leftists to transfer Western attitudes into non-Western rural situations. The notion of 'relative' poverty reflects a particularly unattractive attribute of Western man - that of envy.
Both studies relate to ecologically homogeneous regions. The Sumatra study was based on a three-stage, stratified random sample of farms, numbering 414 which gave a sampling fraction of 17 per cent. Data were collected by weekly farm visits over a year, and covered both farm and off-farm economic activities. 7 SOURCE : Faculty of Economics, Lampung Farm Survey, (University of Lampung, 1978). 102 The rice farmers of Lampung clearly operate very small, irrigated holdings which reflect the heavy population density of the region.