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Methods of household consumption measurement through surveys : experimental results from Tanzania

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  • Beegle, Kathleen
  • De Weerdt, Joachim
  • Friedman, Jed
  • Gibson, John

Abstract

Consumption expenditure has long been the preferred measure of household living standards. However, accurate measurement is a challenge and household expenditure surveys vary widely across many dimensions, including the level of reporting, the length of the reference period, and the degree of commodity detail. These variations occur both across countries and also over time within countries. There is little current understanding of the implications of such changes for spatially and temporally consistent measurement of household consumption and poverty. A field experiment in Tanzania tests eight alternative methods to measure household consumption on a sample of 4,000 households. There are significant differences between consumption reported by the benchmark personal diary and other diary and recall formats. Under-reporting is particularly relevant in illiterate households and for urban respondents completing household diaries; recall modules measure lower consumption than a personal diary, with larger gaps among poorer households and households with more adult members. Variations in reporting accuracy by household characteristics are also discussed and differences in measured poverty as a result of survey design are explored. The study concludes with recommendations for methods of survey based consumption measurement in low-income countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5501.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5501

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Keywords: Consumption; Regional Economic Development; Rural Poverty Reduction; Poverty Lines;

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Economists have experiments figured out. What’s next? (Hint: It’s Measurement)
    by Berk Ozler in Development Impact on 2013-01-14 10:15:43
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. De Weerdt, Joachim & Beegle, Kathleen & Friedman,, Jed & Gibson, John, 2014. "The challenge of measuring hunger," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6736, The World Bank.
  2. Azevedo, Joao Pedro & David, Antonio C. & Bastos, Fabiano Rodrigues & Pineda, Emilio, 2014. "Fiscal adjustment and income inequality : sub-national evidence from Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6945, The World Bank.
  3. Deininger, Klaus & Carletto, Calogero & Savastano, Sara & Muwonge, James, 2011. "Can diaries help improve agricultural production statistics ? Evidence from Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5717, The World Bank.
  4. Alexandru Cojocaru, 2011. "Inequality and well-being in transition economies: A non-experimental test of inequality aversion," Working Papers 238, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  5. Lépine, Aurélia & Strobl, Eric, 2013. "The Effect of Women’s Bargaining Power on Child Nutrition in Rural Senegal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 17-30.
  6. Headey, Derek, 2011. "Was the global food crisis really a crisis?: Simulations versus self-reporting," IFPRI discussion papers 1087, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Luisa Natali & Marta Moratti & UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2012. "Measuring Household Welfare: Short versus long consumption modules," Innocenti Working Papers inwopa671, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
  8. Larson, Donald F. & Otsuka, Keijiro & Matsumoto, Tomoya & Kilic, Talip, 2012. "Should African rural development strategies depend on smallholder farms ? an exploration of the inverse productivity hypothesis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6190, The World Bank.
  9. Elena Gross & Isabel Günther & Youdi Schipper, 2013. "Women: Walking and Waiting for Water The Time Value of Public Water Supply," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 134, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  10. Hassine, Nadia Belhaj, 2014. "Economic inequality in the Arab region," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6911, The World Bank.
  11. Belton, Ben & van Asseldonk, Imke Josepha Mariana & Thilsted, Shakuntala Haraksingh, 2014. "Faltering fisheries and ascendant aquaculture: Implications for food and nutrition security in Bangladesh," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 77-87.
  12. Cojocaru, Alexandru & Diagne, Mame Fatou, 2013. "How reliable and consistent are subjective measures of welfare in Europe and Central Asia ? evidence from the second life in transition survey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6359, The World Bank.
  13. Houngbedji, Kenneth & Cogneau, Denis & Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine, 2013. "The fall of the elephant. Two decades of poverty increase in Côte d’Ivoire (1988 - 2008)," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/12510, Paris Dauphine University.
  14. Gibson, John & Kim, Bonggeun, 2013. "How reliable are household expenditures as a proxy for permanent income? Implications for the income–nutrition relationship," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 23-25.
  15. John Gibson & Kathleen Beegle & Joachim De Weerdt & Jed Friedman, 2013. "What Does Variation in Survey Design Reveal About the Nature of Measurement Errors in Household Consumption?," Working Papers in Economics 13/01, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  16. Headey, Derek D. & Ecker, Olivier, 2012. "Improving the measurement of food security:," IFPRI discussion papers 1225, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  17. de Nicola, Francesca & Gine, Xavier, 2012. "How accurate are recall data ? evidence from coastal India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6009, The World Bank.
  18. Deininger, Klaus & Carletto, Calogero & Savastano, Sara & Muwonge, James, 2012. "Can diaries help in improving agricultural production statistics? Evidence from Uganda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 42-50.

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