Weighing the value of Asset Proxies: The case of the Body Mass Index in South Africa
There are many household surveys, e.g. the Demographic and Health Surveys, that carry a wealth of useful information but in which information of interest to economists, chiefly or missing altogether. In many of these surveys, however, there are questions about asset ownership. These might be used to proxy for income. Indeed some authors have suggested that asset-based measures of wellbeing may even be better than income or expenditure-based ones, since they may reflect of the household better. They may also be more accurately measured (Filmer and Pritchett 2001, Sahn and Stifel 2003). This is a joint SALDRU/DataFirst Working paper as part of the Mellon Data Quality Project. For more information about the project visit www.datafirst.uct.ac.za.
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