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Welcome to Fantasyland: Comparing Approaches To Land Area Measurement In Household Surveys

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  • Carletto, Calogero
  • Gourlay, Sydney
  • Murray, Siobhan
  • Zezza, Alberto

Abstract

In rural societies land is a major measure of wealth, a critical input in agricultural production, and a key variable for assessing agricultural performance and productivity. In the absence of cadastral information to refer to, measures of land plots have historically been taken with one of two approaches: traversing (very precise, but cumbersome), and farmers’ self-report (cheap, but marred by large, systematic measurement error). Recently, the advent of cheap handheld GPS devices has held promise of balancing cost and precision. There are, however, concerns about how GPS measures may perform on certain types of plots, or under given measurement conditions. Using purposely collected data from methodological validation studies conducted in Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Tanzania, this paper analyses the use of farmer self-reported area estimation against the primary objective measurement alternatives. Guided by analytical results, and with consideration for practical household survey implementation, the paper assesses the nature and magnitude of measurement error under different methods and proposes a set of recommendations for plot area measurement. Results largely point to the support of GPS measurement, with simultaneous collection of farmer self-reported areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Carletto, Calogero & Gourlay, Sydney & Murray, Siobhan & Zezza, Alberto, 2015. "Welcome to Fantasyland: Comparing Approaches To Land Area Measurement In Household Surveys," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211849, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae15:211849
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/211849
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David J. & Woodruff, Christopher, 2009. "Measuring microenterprise profits: Must we ask how the sausage is made?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 19-31, January.
    2. 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.
    3. John Hoddinott & Derek Headey & Mekdim Dereje, 2015. "Cows, Missing Milk Markets, and Nutrition in Rural Ethiopia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(8), pages 958-975, August.
    4. Dillon, Andrew & Bardasi, Elena & Beegle, Kathleen & Serneels, Pieter, 2012. "Explaining variation in child labor statistics," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 136-147.
    5. Beegle, Kathleen & Carletto, Calogero & Himelein, Kristen, 2012. "Reliability of recall in agricultural data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 34-41.
    6. Hoddinott, John F. & Headey, Derek D. & Dereje, Mekdim, 2014. "Summary of Cows, missing milk markets and nutrition in rural Ethiopia:," ESSP research notes 28, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    Cited by:

    1. GOUNDAN, Anatole & MAGNE DOMGHO, Léa Vicky, 2016. "Land Area Measurement bias: Evidence from West African countries," MPRA Paper 75476, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumer/Household Economics; Land Economics/Use;

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