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Poverty in Mozambique : new evidence from recent household surveys

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Author Info

  • Alfani, Federica
  • Azzarri, Carlo
  • d'Errico, Marco
  • Molini, Vasco

Abstract

This paper has three primary objectives: (i) to investigate potential problems regarding Mozambique's most recent nationally representative household survey on poverty dynamics; (ii) to assess the robustness and reliability of official poverty statistics; and (iii) to provide alternative estimates of poverty and welfare indicators in light of the methodological and analytical issues raised in areas (i) and (ii). It is determined that at least two significant weaknesses affect the official poverty-rate estimates: measurement errors in consumption data and flaws in the methodology used to calculate poverty lines (the cost-of-basic-needs approach based on provincial food bundles with entropy correction). A number of observations appear to be affected by substantial measurement errors, which severely distort the official poverty statistics. The paper provides methods to correct the consumption distribution by recalculating poverty lines based on a single national food basket -- as opposed to the current estimates, which are based on province-specific food baskets. The revised poverty statistics differ considerably from the official estimates of poverty across provinces and are far more consistent with other poverty indicators. In addition, poverty appears to be highly concentrated in certain areas, with dramatically higher rates found in Central and Northern Mozambique, as well as in rural areas overall, compared with relatively low rates in Southern Mozambique and in the country's urban centers. These findings substantially contradict the government's official poverty figures, which appear to systematically overestimate poverty rates in Mozambique's Southern provinces and urban areas while simultaneously underestimating the prevalence of poverty in the country's Central and Northern regions and in rural areas nationwide.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6217.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6217

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Related research

Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction; Regional Economic Development; Poverty Lines; Food&Beverage Industry;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

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  1. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 1999. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates For Welfare Analysis," Working Papers 217, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  2. Jocelyne Delarue & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps & Jean-David Naudet & Anne-Sophie Robilliard, 2009. "The Sikasso Paradoxe: Cotton and Poverty in Mali," Working Papers DT/2009/09, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  3. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2003. "On the utility consistency of poverty lines," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3157, The World Bank.
  4. Carlos Maia & Servaas van der Berg, 2010. "When the remedy is worse than the disease: Adjusting survey income data for price differentials, with special reference to Mozambique," Working Papers 24/2010, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  5. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 2001. "Estimating Wealth Effects Without Expenditure Data—Or Tears: An Application To Educational Enrollments In States Of India," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 115-132, February.
  6. Channing Arndt & Andres Garcia & Finn Tarp & James Thurlow, 2010. "Poverty Reduction and Economic Structure Comparative Path Analysis for Mozambique and Vietnam," Working Paper Series wp2010-122, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  7. Channing Arndt & Kenneth R. Simler, 2010. "Estimating Utility-Consistent Poverty Lines with Applications to Egypt and Mozambique," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(3), pages 449-474, 04.
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Cited by:
  1. Arndt, Channing & Hussain, M. Azhar & Salvucci, Vincenzo & Tarp, Finn & Osterdal, Lars, 2013. "Advancing small area estimation," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  2. Fox, Louise & Sohnesen, Thomas Pave, 2013. "Household enterprises in Mozambique : key to poverty reduction but not on the development agenda ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6570, The World Bank.

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