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Using an Asset Index to Assess Trends in Poverty in Seven Sub-Saharan African Countries

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Listed:
  • Booysen, Frikkie
  • van der Berg, Servaas
  • Burger, Ronelle
  • Maltitz, Michael von
  • Rand, Gideon du

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Booysen, Frikkie & van der Berg, Servaas & Burger, Ronelle & Maltitz, Michael von & Rand, Gideon du, 2008. "Using an Asset Index to Assess Trends in Poverty in Seven Sub-Saharan African Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1113-1130, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:36:y:2008:i:6:p:1113-1130
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David E. Sahn & David C. Stifel, 2003. "Urban--Rural Inequality in Living Standards in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(4), pages 564-597, December.
    2. Philippe Van Kerm, 1998. "Simple and multiple correspondence analysis in Stata," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(42).
    3. Frikkie Booysen & Ronelle Burger & Gideon Du Rand & Michael von Maltitz & Servaas Van der Berg, 2007. "Trends in Poverty and Inequality in Seven African Countries," Working Papers PMMA 2007-06, PEP-PMMA.
    4. Sahn, David E. & Stifel, David C., 2000. "Poverty Comparisons Over Time and Across Countries in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2123-2155, December.
    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;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 115-132, February.
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