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The Challenge of Measuring Hunger through Survey

Listed author(s):
  • Joachim De Weerdt
  • Kathleen Beegle
  • Jed Friedman
  • John Gibson

There is widespread interest in estimating the number of hungry people in the world as well as trends in hunger. Current global counts rely on combining each country’s total food balance with information on distribution patterns from household consumption expenditure surveys. Recent research has advocated for calculating hunger numbers directly from these same surveys, which are increasingly available in low-income countries. For either approach, embedded in this effort are a number of important details about how household surveys are designed and how these data are then used. Using a survey experiment in Tanzania, this study finds great fragility in hunger counts stemming from alternative survey designs. As such, caution should be taken in drawing inferences on hunger over time and space on the basis of household surveys.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/686669
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/686669
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 64 (2016)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 727-758

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/686669
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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  1. Smith, Lisa C. & Naiken, Logan, 1998. "Can FAO's measure of chronic undernourishment be strengthened?," FCND discussion papers 44, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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