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Asking Questions to Understand Rural Livelihoods: Comparing Disaggregated vs. Aggregated Approaches to Household Livelihood Questionnaires

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  • Jagger, Pamela
  • Luckert, Marty K.
  • Banana, Abwoli
  • Bahati, Joseph

Abstract

This study tests the hypothesis that both disaggregated and aggregated data collection methods produce similar estimates of the relative importance of livelihood portfolio activities and expenditures. The results show that different methods of data collection yield substantively different estimates of livelihood strategies for two indicators: income and expenditure. We also find evidence of a seasonal bias in responses to household livelihood questions asked at higher levels of aggregation. Our findings highlight the challenge of designing household surveys to elicit accurate and precise information, and demonstrate that different methods of data collection influence our understanding of rural livelihoods.

Suggested Citation

  • Jagger, Pamela & Luckert, Marty K. & Banana, Abwoli & Bahati, Joseph, 2012. "Asking Questions to Understand Rural Livelihoods: Comparing Disaggregated vs. Aggregated Approaches to Household Livelihood Questionnaires," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1810-1823.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:40:y:2012:i:9:p:1810-1823 DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.04.030
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frank Ellis & H Ade Freeman, 2004. "Rural Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction Strategies in Four African Countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 1-30.
    2. Fisher, Monica & Reimer, Jeffrey J. & Carr, Edward R., 2010. "Who Should be Interviewed in Surveys of Household Income?," World Development, Elsevier, pages 966-973.
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    5. Anirudh Krishna & Patti Kristjanson & Maren Radeny & Wilson Nindo, 2004. "Escaping Poverty and Becoming Poor in 20 Kenyan Villages," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 211-226.
    6. Stefan Dercon, 2002. "Income Risk, Coping Strategies, and Safety Nets," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 141-166, September.
    7. Cavendish, William, 2000. "Empirical Regularities in the Poverty-Environment Relationship of Rural Households: Evidence from Zimbabwe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 1979-2003, November.
    8. Menton, Mary C.S. & Lawrence, Anna & Merry, Frank & Brown, Nick D., 2010. "Estimating natural resource harvests: Conjectures?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1330-1335, April.
    9. Chambers, Robert, 1994. "The origins and practice of participatory rural appraisal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 953-969, July.
    10. Sjaastad, Espen & Angelsen, Arild & Vedeld, Pål & Bojö, Jan, 2005. "What is environmental income?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 37-46, October.
    11. Subhrendu K. Pattanayak & Erin O. Sills, 2001. "Do Tropical Forests Provide Natural Insurance? The Microeconomics of Non-Timber Forest Product Collection in the Brazilian Amazon," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, pages 595-612.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sunderland, Terry & Achdiawan, Ramadhani & Angelsen, Arild & Babigumira, Ronnie & Ickowitz, Amy & Paumgarten, Fiona & Reyes-García, Victoria & Shively, Gerald, 2014. "Challenging Perceptions about Men, Women, and Forest Product Use: A Global Comparative Study," World Development, Elsevier, pages 56-66.
    2. Wei, Duan & Chao, He & Yali, Wen, 2016. "Role of income diversification in reducing forest reliance: Evidence from 1838 rural households in China," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, pages 68-79.
    3. repec:eee:forpol:v:84:y:2017:i:c:p:11-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Greene, Claire & O'Brien, Shaun & Schuh, Scott, 2017. "U. S. consumer cash use, 2012 and 2015: an introduction to the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice," Research Data Report 17-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    5. Nguyen, Trung Thanh & Nguyen, Loc Duc & Lippe, Rattiya Suddeephong & Grote, Ulrike, 2017. "Determinants of Farmers’ Land Use Decision-Making: Comparative Evidence From Thailand and Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, pages 199-213.
    6. Fulford, Scott L., 2015. "How important is variability in consumer credit limits?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 42-63.
    7. Angelsen, Arild & Jagger, Pamela & Babigumira, Ronnie & Belcher, Brian & Hogarth, Nicholas J. & Bauch, Simone & Börner, Jan & Smith-Hall, Carsten & Wunder, Sven, 2014. "Environmental Income and Rural Livelihoods: A Global-Comparative Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, pages 12-28.

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