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Understanding Standard of Living and Correlates in Slums: An Analysis using Monetary Versus Multidimensional Approaches in Three Indian Cities

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Slum-dwellers in developing countries live under derogatory living conditions compared to the rest of the urban areas and are marginalised socially and economically. Urban policies towards improving the living conditions of the slum-dwellers require understanding the associated characteristics, which vary both within and across cities. In this paper, we use primary household survey data specifically designed and collected from three largest metro cities in India, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi, to study living conditions in slums as well as to explore how various characteristics are similarly or differently associated with household’s monetary vis-à-vis non-monetary living conditions across cities. To assess non-monetary living standard, we use a counting approach framework. We observe slum-dwellers in Mumbai fare much better both monetarily and non-monetarily than those in Delhi and Kolkata. We find a number of
characteristics to be differently associated with monetary vis-à-vis non-monetary living standards both within and across cities. Decomposition of indicators reveals the sources of deprivation among households with different characteristics. Findings of our study should have useful policy implications.

Image: ©IRD - Huber, Sébastien