Do household definitions matter in survey design? Results from a randomized survey experiment in Mali
Household definitions used in multi-topic household surveys vary between surveys but have potentially significant implications for household composition, production, and poverty statistics. Standard definitions of the household usually include some intersection of keywords relating to residency requirements, common food consumption, and intermingling of income or production decisions. Despite best practices intending to standardize the definition of the household, it is unclear which types of definitions or which intersections of keywords in a definition result in different household compositions. This paper conducts a randomized survey experiment of four different household definitions in Mali to examine the implications for household-level statistics. This approach permits analysis of the trade-offs between alternative definition types. We find that additional keywords in definitions increase rather than decrease household size and significantly alters household composition. Definitions emphasizing common consumption or joint production increase estimates of the levels of household assets and consumption statistics, but not on per adult equivalency asset and consumption statistics, relative to open-ended definitions of the household. In contrast, definition type did not affect production statistics in levels, though we observe significant differences in per adult equivalency terms. Our findings suggest that variations in household definition have implications for measuring household welfare and production.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Megan Beckett & Julie Da Vanzo & Narayan Sastry & Constantijn Panis & Christine Peterson, 2001. "The Quality of Retrospective Data: An Examination of Long-Term Recall in a Developing Country," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(3), pages 593-625.
- Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther, 2006.
"The Economic Lives of the Poor,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
5968, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- L. Christiaensen & J. Hoddinott & G. Bergeron, 2001. "Comparing village characteristics derived from rapid appraisals and household surveys: A tale from northern Mali," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 1-20.
- Jean-Paul Azam & Flore Gubert, 2002.
"Those in Kayes. The impact of remittances on their recipients in Africa,"
DT/2002/11, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
- Jean-Paul Azam & Flore Gubert, 2005. "Those in Kayes. The Impact of Remittances on Their Recipients in Africa," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 56(6), pages 1331-1358.
- Azam, Jean-Paul & Gubert, Flore, 2004. "Those in Kayes: The Impact of Remittances on their Recipients in Africa," IDEI Working Papers 308, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Udry, Christopher, 1990. "Credit Markets in Northern Nigeria: Credit as Insurance in a Rural Economy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 251-69, September.
- Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002.
"Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis,"
World Bank Publications,
The World Bank, number 14101.
- Deaton, A. & Zaidi, S., 1999. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," Papers 192, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- 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..
- repec:dau:papers:123456789/4571 is not listed on IDEAS
- Steven Ruggles & Misty Heggeness, 2008. "Intergenerational Coresidence in Developing Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 34(2), pages 253-281.
- Richard Akresh, 2009. "Flexibility of Household Structure: Child Fostering Decisions in Burkina Faso," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
- Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-46, October.
- Seale, James & Regmi, Anita & Bernstein, Jason, 2003.
"International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns,"
184321, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
- Seale, James L., Jr. & Regmi, Anita & Bernstein, Jason, 2003. "International Evidence On Food Consumption Patterns," Technical Bulletins 33580, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:98:y:2012:i:1:p:124-135. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.