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Are We Counting all the Poor ?Reporting under-and Overestimations in the Headcount

Author

Listed:
  • Marion Mercier
  • Rama Lionel Ngenzebuke
  • Philip Verwimp

Abstract

Having accurate poverty statistics is of primary importance for both researchers and policy-makers. Based on original data on Burundi, we investigate the sensitivity of poverty headcount calculations to methodological choices along two dimensions: (1) the vector of prices that is used to value consumption, and (2) the level of consumption that is considered (household versus individual). We find different numbers of poor when these dimensions are accounted for. In our context, it translates into a larger number of poor when country-level instead of local prices are used, and when intra-household allocation of consumption is accounted for – the latter being mainly driven by poor children living in households considered as non-poor.

Suggested Citation

  • Marion Mercier & Rama Lionel Ngenzebuke & Philip Verwimp, 2015. "Are We Counting all the Poor ?Reporting under-and Overestimations in the Headcount," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2015-31, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/217120
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin Browning & Pierre-André Chiappori & Arthur Lewbel, 2013. "Estimating Consumption Economies of Scale, Adult Equivalence Scales, and Household Bargaining Power," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1267-1303.
    2. Ravallion, M., 1998. "Poverty Lines in Theory and Practice," Papers 133, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    3. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-467, June.
    4. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2009. "Opening the Black Box of Intrahousehold Decision Making: Theory and Nonparametric Empirical Tests of General Collective Consumption Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 1074-1104, December.
    5. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Nash-Bargained Households Decisions: A Comment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(4), pages 791-796, November.
    6. 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.
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    Keywords

    poverty; headcount; prices; intra-household allocation; Burundi;

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