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The Challenge of Measuring Hunger through Survey

Author

Listed:
  • Joachim De Weerdt
  • Kathleen Beegle
  • Jed Friedman
  • John Gibson

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Joachim De Weerdt & Kathleen Beegle & Jed Friedman & John Gibson, 2016. "The Challenge of Measuring Hunger through Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(4), pages 727-758.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/686669
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hammond, James & Fraval, Simon & van Etten, Jacob & Suchini, Jose Gabriel & Mercado, Leida & Pagella, Tim & Frelat, Romain & Lannerstad, Mats & Douxchamps, Sabine & Teufel, Nils & Valbuena, Diego & va, 2017. "The Rural Household Multi-Indicator Survey (RHoMIS) for rapid characterisation of households to inform climate smart agriculture interventions: Description and applications in East Africa and Central ," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, pages 225-233.
    2. repec:eee:deveco:v:130:y:2018:i:c:p:160-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. John Gibson, 2016. "Measuring Chronic Hunger from Diet Snapshots: Why 'Bottom up' Survey Counts and 'Top down' FAO Estimates Will Never Meet," Working Papers in Economics 16/07, University of Waikato.
    4. Arthi, Vellore & Beegle, Kathleen & De Weerdt, Joachim & Palacios-Lopez, Amparo, 2016. "Not your average job: measuring farm labor in Tanzania," IOB Analyses & Policy Briefs 21, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
    5. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:94-111 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Arthi, Vellore & Beegle, Kathleen & De Weerdt, Joachim & Palacios-López, Amparo, 2018. "Not your average job: Measuring farm labor in Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 160-172.
    7. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:43-52 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C88 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Other Computer Software
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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