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Are we Counting all the Poor ? Accounting for the Intra-Household Allocation of Consumption in Burundi


  • Marion MERCIER

    (PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa, UMR DIAL and IZA Bonn)

  • Philip VERWIMP

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles)


Having accurate poverty statistics is of primary importance for researchers and policy-makers. Based on original data on Burundi, we investigate the sensitivity of poverty headcount calculations to considering individual- instead of household-level consumption. Relying on a survey module which provides information on the share of expenses allocated to each member of the households, we calculate poverty statutes on an individual basis. Exploiting these direct measures to compute poverty headcounts allows us to put forward the discrepancy between individual- and household-level poverty computations. We identify “hidden poor,” i.e. poor individuals living in non-poor households, and show that they are predominantly children. We finally discuss potential mechanisms that could drive the results, and emphasize the importance of improving data collection devices for poverty-related policy making.

Suggested Citation

  • Marion MERCIER & Philip VERWIMP, 2017. "Are we Counting all the Poor ? Accounting for the Intra-Household Allocation of Consumption in Burundi," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 307-327, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvde:v:83:y:2017:i:3:p:307-327

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