LSMS Data Quality in Maoist Influenced Areas of Nepal
The first round of the Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS1) is a high quality data source that has been applied for a number of empirical studies. Data were collected in 1995/96, prior to the civil war in Nepal. The Maoist party of Nepal started the so called People's war in 1996, and gradually extended their influence in the rural areas. Eight years into the war, in 2003/04, the Central Bureau of Statistics, in collaboration with the World Bank, conducted the second round of the Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS2). We investigate to what extent the quality of the NLSS2 data has been affected by the Maoists. We find, if any, only minor support for the hypothesis. Furthermore, the Maoists have less control in the plains (terai), where a majority of the population lives, so data from the terai sub-sample of NLSS2 is, in particular, not likely to be biased by the Maoists.
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