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Decomposing response error in food consumption measurement: Implications for survey design from a randomized survey experiment in Tanzania

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

Abstract

There is wide variation in how consumption is measured in household surveys, both across countries and over time. This variation may confound welfare comparisons in part because these alternative survey designs produce consumption estimates differentially influenced by contrasting types of survey response error. While previous studies have documented the extent of net error in alternative survey designs, little is known about the relative influence of the different response errors that underpin a survey estimate. This study leverages a recent randomized food consumption survey experiment in Tanzania to shed light on the relative influence of these various error types. The observed deviation of measured household consumption from a benchmark is decomposed into item-specific consumption incidence and consumption value so as to investigate effects related to (a) the omission of any consumption and then (b) the error in value reporting conditional on positive consumption. Results show that various survey designs exhibit widely differing error decompositions and hence a simple summary comparison of the total recorded consumption across surveys will obscure specific error patterns and inhibit lessons for improved consumption survey design. In light of these findings, the relative performance of common survey designs are discussed and design lessons are drawn in order to enhance the accuracy of item-specific consumption reporting and, consequently, measures of total household food consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Friedman, Jed & Beegle, Kathleen & De Weerdt, Joachim & Gibson, John, 2017. "Decomposing response error in food consumption measurement: Implications for survey design from a randomized survey experiment in Tanzania," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 94-111.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:94-111
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2017.08.016
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Joachim De Weerdt & Kathleen Beegle & Jed Friedman & John Gibson, 2016. "The Challenge of Measuring Hunger through Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(4), pages 727-758.
    9. anonymous, 2000. "Consumer privacy protections finalized," Financial Update, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, vol. 13(Jul), pages 1-6.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hannah Ameye & Joachim De Weerdt & John Gibson, 2020. "Measuring Macro- and Micronutrient Intake in Multi-Purpose Surveys: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Tanzania," LICOS Discussion Papers 42120, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    2. John Gibson & Omoniyi Alimi, 2020. "Measuring poverty with noisy and corrected estimates of annual consumption: Evidence from Nigeria," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 32(1), pages 96-107, March.
    3. Zezza, Alberto & Carletto, Calogero & Fiedler, John L. & Gennari, Pietro & Jolliffe, Dean, 2017. "Food counts. Measuring food consumption and expenditures in household consumption and expenditure surveys (HCES). Introduction to the special issue," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-6.
    4. Cockx, Lara & Colen, Liesbeth & De Weerdt, Joachim, 2018. "From corn to popcorn? Urbanization and dietary change: Evidence from rural-urban migrants in Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 140-159.
    5. Andalón, Mabel & Gibson, John, 2018. "The ‘soda tax’ is unlikely to make Mexicans lighter or healthier: New evidence on biases in elasticities of demand for soda," MPRA Paper 86370, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Mabel Andalon & John Gibson, 2017. "The 'Soda Tax' is Unlikely to Make Mexicans Lighter: New Evidence on Biases in Elasticities of Demand for Soda," Working Papers in Economics 17/07, University of Waikato.
    7. Zezza, Alberto & Carletto, Gero & Fiedler, John L & Gennari, Pietro & Jolliffe, Dean M, 2017. "Food Counts. Measuring Food Consumption And Expenditures In Household Consumption And Expenditure Surveys (HCES)," 2017 International Congress, August 28-September 1, 2017, Parma, Italy 260886, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food consumption; Household surveys; Response error; Recall; Telescoping;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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