IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Food Counts. Measuring Food Consumption And Expenditures In Household Consumption And Expenditure Surveys (HCES)


  • Zezza, Alberto
  • Carletto, Gero
  • Fiedler, John L
  • Gennari, Pietro
  • Jolliffe, Dean M


This paper presents the results of an international multi-disciplinary research project on the measurement of food consumption in national household surveys. Food consumption data from household surveys are possibly the single most important source of information on poverty, food security, and nutrition outcomes at national, sub-national and household level, and contribute building blocks to global efforts to monitor progress towards the major international development goals. The paper synthesizes case studies from a diverse set of developing and OECD countries, looking at some of the main outstanding research issues as identified by a recent international assessment of 100 existing national household surveys (Smith et al., 2014). The project mobilized expertise from different disciplines (statistics, economics, food security, nutrition) to work towards enhancing our understanding of how to improve the quality and availability of food consumption and expenditure data, while making them more valuable for a diverse set of users. The individual studies summarized in this paper analyze, both theoretically and empirically, how different surveys design options affect the quality of the data being collected and, in turn, the implications for statistical inference and policy analysis. The individual studies and a synthesis chapter (on which this paper is based) are forthcoming in a special issue of Food Policy. The conclusions and recommendations derived from this collection of studies will be instrumental in advancing the methodological agenda for the collection of household level food data, and will provide national statistical offices and survey practitioners worldwide with practical insights for survey design, while providing poverty, food and nutrition policymakers with greater understanding of these issues, as well as improved tools for and better guidance in policy formulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Zezza, Alberto & Carletto, Gero & Fiedler, John L & Gennari, Pietro & Jolliffe, Dean M, 2017. "Food Counts. Measuring Food Consumption And Expenditures In Household Consumption And Expenditure Surveys (HCES)," 2017 International Congress, August 28-September 1, 2017, Parma, Italy 260886, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae17:260886
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.260886

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Beegle, Kathleen & De Weerdt, Joachim & Friedman, Jed & Gibson, John, 2012. "Methods of household consumption measurement through surveys: Experimental results from Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 3-18.
    2. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:62-71 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:112-120 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. John Gibson & Kathleen Beegle & Joachim De Weerdt & Jed Friedman, 2015. "What does Variation in Survey Design Reveal about the Nature of Measurement Errors in Household Consumption?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 77(3), pages 466-474, June.
    5. Serajuddin,Umar & Uematsu,Hiroki & Wieser,Christina & Yoshida,Nobuo & Dabalen,Andrew L., 2015. "Data deprivation : another deprivation to end," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7252, The World Bank.
    6. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:27-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Brzozowski, Matthew & Crossley, Thomas F. & Winter, Joachim K., 2017. "A comparison of recall and diary food expenditure data," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 53-61.
    8. Adam Bee & Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2013. "The Validity of Consumption Data: Are the Consumer Expenditure Interview and Diary Surveys Informative?," NBER Chapters, in: Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, pages 204-240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:146-156 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Backiny-Yetna,Prospere R. & Yacoubou Djima,Ismael & Steele,Diane E., 2014. "The impact of household food consumption data collection methods on poverty and inequality measures in Niger," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7090, The World Bank.
    11. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:7-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Geoffrey R. Dunbar & Arthur Lewbel & Krishna Pendakur, 2013. "Children's Resources in Collective Households: Identification, Estimation, and an Application to Child Poverty in Malawi," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 438-471, February.
    13. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:94-111 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:43-52 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. World Bank Group, 2015. "A Measured Approach to Ending Poverty and Boosting Shared Prosperity : Concepts, Data, and the Twin Goals," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 20384, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:eaae17:260886. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.