Using an Asset Index to Assess Trends in Poverty in Seven Sub-Saharan African Countries
Summary Using comparable, nationally representative surveys and extending the work of [Sahn, D. E., & Stifel, D. C. (2000). Poverty comparisons over time and across countries in Africa. World Development, 28(12), 2123-2155], an asset index is used to investigate changes in poverty in seven African countries. Poverty declined in five of the seven countries. Improvements in the asset index are driven by progress in the accumulation of private assets, while access to public services has deteriorated. However, the method has some shortcomings. Assets are slow-changing and discrete. The index therefore may not capture changes in well-being accurately. The poor discrimination ability of the index at the lower end of the scale also makes it an inappropriate tool for studying ultra-poverty.
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