2 thoughts on “The Minimum Income Standard: the wisdom of crowds?”

  1. Posted 16/07/2014 at 19:26 | Permalink

    MIS is rooted in consensus among ordinary members regarding what is needed for a minimum, socially acceptable standard of living. The definition people work to while discussing what should be included in the basket is:

    “A minimum standard of living in the United Kingdom today includes, but is more than just food, clothes and shelter. It is about having what you need in order to have the opportunities and choices necessary to participate in society”

    Contrary to the suggestion of ‘log rolling’, the groups are very good at challenging each other about what is a necessity and what is a ‘nice to have’. Where there is no consensus, items are not included – for example only in 2014 was there consensus among pensioners that they need internet access in the home, previously opinion had been divided and so it didn’t feature in their budgets.

    MIS provides a independent barometer of living standards. Earlier this year we published analysis of the (at that time) most recent households income data, and found just under a quarter of households don’t have enough to reach MIS – a lower figure than you might expect if you were to think MIS represents generous living standard.

  2. Posted 17/07/2014 at 06:07 | Permalink

    “It is self-evident that half the population earns less than average.” No it is not. It is self-evident (by definition) that half the population earns less than the median, but it is not at all evident (or true) that half the population earns less than the mean. It all depends whether you use the median or the mean as your average.

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