Working Paper
Intersociety Literacy Comparisons

Basu and Foster (1998) characterized a sophisticated literacy measure using five axioms. In this paper we argue that if a measure satisfies three of their five axioms, namely, anonymity, monotonicity and externality, then also it becomes suitable in some applications. We, therefore, introduce two classes of measures whose members will satisfy at least these three axioms. Two population principles for intersociety literacy comparisons are also suggested and their relationships with the Basu-Foster axioms are established. Finally, we illustrate our results numerically using Indian data and draw out some policy implications.