Dr Hector Catalan

Research Topic: The geography of poverty in Latin America

Why does poverty follow a spatial pattern and why is it distributed this way? These are two of the most important questions in poverty research given that place has been found as one of the best predictors of the past, present and current likelihood of being poor. My project looks at the distribution of poverty at small-area level in Latin America. The literature has provided us some snapshots for some countries about the distribution of poverty in the region, however, this has been unsystematically done using unreliable and incomparable poverty measures. Drawing upon a reliable, valid and comparable poverty measure (drawing upon the Bristol approach), I’ll map out and analyse the geography of poverty in a subset of Latin American countries. I will use survey and census data to produce this analyses and a range of statistical methods to gain understanding of the geography of poverty in this region. I will make all the inputs and outputs available to those interested in reproducing the findings. Thanks to the GCRF fellowship I expect to collaborate with the Economic Council for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and key institutions in Mexico so that this work can be useful and had an impact upon poverty eradication strategies.

Mentor: Professor David Gordon


Najera, HE, 2016, ‘Does measurement invariance hold for the official Mexican multidimensional poverty measure?: A state-level analysis 2012’Quality and Quantity.

Najera, HE, 2016, ‘Multiple Deprivation, Severity and Latent Sub-Groups: Advantages of Factor Mixture Modelling for Analysing Material Deprivation’Social Indicators Research.

Najera, HE, 2016, ‘Pobreza infantil y desigualdades a nivel geográfico: Un análisis espacial. México 2010’. in: Mónica González, Raúl Mercer, Alberto Minujin (eds) Lo esencial no puede ser invisible a los ojos: Pobreza e infancia en América Latina. Comparative Research Programme on Poverty, pp. 25-54