Who Should be Interviewed in Surveys of Household Income?
This study tests the null hypothesis that it is sufficient to interview only the household head to obtain accurate information on household income. Results show that using a husband’s estimate of his wife’s income does not produce statistically reliable results for poverty analysis. Estimates of the wife’s income provided by the husband and wife are in agreement in only six percent of households. While limiting interviews to one person has the advantage of reducing the time and expense of household surveys, this appears detrimental in terms of accuracy, and may lead to incorrect conclusions on the determinants of poverty.
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