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Assessing Alternative Poverty Proxy Methods in Rural Vietnam


  • Linh Vu
  • Bob Baulch


This paper compares and contrasts the use of four “short-cut” methods for identifying poor households: the poverty probability method; ordinary least squares regressions; principal components analysis; and quantile regressions. After evaluating these four methods using two alternative criteria (total and balanced poverty accuracy) and representative household survey data from rural Vietnam, it is concluded that the poverty probability method—which can correctly identify around four-fifths of poor and non-poor households—is the most accurate “short-cut” method for measuring poverty for specific subpopulations, or in years when household surveys are not available. The performance of the poverty probability method was then tested with different poverty lines and using an alternative household survey, and found to be robust.

Suggested Citation

  • Linh Vu & Bob Baulch, 2011. "Assessing Alternative Poverty Proxy Methods in Rural Vietnam," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(3), pages 339-367, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:39:y:2011:i:3:p:339-367
    DOI: 10.1080/13600818.2011.599207

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sabina Alkire, Maria Emma Santos, 2010. "Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries," OPHI Working Papers 38, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    2. Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion, 2010. "The Developing World is Poorer than We Thought, But No Less Successful in the Fight Against Poverty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1577-1625.
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    Cited by:

    1. Talip Kilic & Thomas Pave Sohnesen, 2019. "Same Question But Different Answer: Experimental Evidence on Questionnaire Design's Impact on Poverty Measured by Proxies," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 65(1), pages 144-165, March.
    2. Nguyen, Cuong & Lo, Duc, 2016. "Testing Proxy Means Tests in the Field: Evidence from Vietnam," MPRA Paper 80002, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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