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Measuring aggregate welfare in developing countries - How well do national accounts and surveys agree?

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  • Ravallion, Martin

Abstract

In a data set for developing, and transition economies, the author finds that private consumption per capita, based on national accounts, deviates on average from mean household income,or expenditure based on national sample surveys. Growth rates also differ systematically, so that the ratio of the survey mean to the national accounts mean, tends to fall over time. But there are revealing exceptions to these general findings. The aggregate difference in the levels is due more to income surveys, than to expenditure surveys. And there are strong regional effects; for example, the severe data problems in the transition economies of Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, means that there is negligible correlation in that region, between growth rates from national accounts, and those from household surveys.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2665.

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Date of creation: 31 Aug 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2665

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Keywords: Social Analysis; Economic Conditions and Volatility; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Statistical&Mathematical Sciences; Inequality; Achieving Shared Growth; Governance Indicators; Economic Conditions and Volatility; Environmental Economics&Policies;

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  1. Rendtel, Ulrich & Langeheine, Rolf & Berntsen, Roland, 1998. "The Estimation of Poverty Dynamics Using Different Measurements of Household Income," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(1), pages 81-98, March.
  2. Ravallion, Martin & Shaohua Chen, 1996. "What can new survey data tell us about recent changes in distribution and poverty?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1694, The World Bank.
  3. Martin Ravallion & Shubham Chaudhuri, 1997. "Risk and Insurance in Village India: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 171-184, January.
  4. Schmidt-Hebbel, K. & Serven, L., 1997. "Saving Across the World: Puzzles and Policies," World Bank - Discussion Papers 354, World Bank.
  5. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1992. "Growth and redistribution components of changes in poverty measures : A decomposition with applications to Brazil and India in the 1980s," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 275-295, April.
  6. Smeeding, Timothy M & Weinberg, Daniel H, 2001. "Toward a Uniform Definition of Household Income," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(1), pages 1-24, March.
  7. Wu, Harry X, 2000. "China's GDP Level and Growth Performance: Alternative Estimates and the Implications," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(4), pages 475-99, December.
  8. Ruggles, Richard & Ruggles, Nancy D, 1986. "The Integration of Macro and Micro Data for the Household Sector," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 32(3), pages 245-76, September.
  9. Slesnick, Daniel T, 1998. "Are Our Data Relevant to the Theory? The Case of Aggregate Consumption Expenditures, and Empirical Consumption and Savings," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 16(1), pages 52-61, January.
  10. Bloem, Adriaan M & Cotterell, Paul & Gigantes, Terry, 1998. "National Accounts in Transition Countries: Balancing the Biases?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(1), pages 1-24, March.
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