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Resource Flows Among Three Generations in Guatemala Study (2007–08): Definitions, tracking, data collection, coverage, and attrition


  • Paúl Melgar
  • Luis Fernando Ramírez
  • Scott McNiven
  • Rosa Mery Mejía
  • Ann DiGirolamo
  • John Hoddinott
  • John A. Maluccio



The allocation of resources across generations and the consequences of these allocations represent a research agenda with significant policy implications. At the same time, their empirical investigation imposes immense data requirements, and therefore data collection challenges. In this paper, we describe how we met these challenges, in the Resource Flows Among Three Generations in Guatemala Study, or IGT, carried out in 2006–07. In doing so, we provide a guide for using and interpreting the data collected as part of IGT, as well as an example for others interested in implementing research projects on similar themes elsewhere. Complex research topics, across generations and across a range of possible measures of well-being, led to a relatively complicated sample selection process and survey design, with component modules that were applicable to different “types” of sample members, depending on their generational status and age, and who often lived in different locations. It also led to a wide set of survey domains, ranging from economic, educational, and psychological surveys to clinical medical exams for both the young and the elderly. Survey coverage was above 85% of the targeted sample for most categories of respondents and most modules, and a number of safeguards were in place to ensure high quality data. Biases due to attrition, measured against the original 1970s rounds of survey work upon which IGT built, while present, should not reduce substantially the validity of research findings to come from this rich sample. The extent to which this is true, though, may vary depending on the topic under consideration and the controls included in the analyses.

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  • Paúl Melgar & Luis Fernando Ramírez & Scott McNiven & Rosa Mery Mejía & Ann DiGirolamo & John Hoddinott & John A. Maluccio, 2008. "Resource Flows Among Three Generations in Guatemala Study (2007–08): Definitions, tracking, data collection, coverage, and attrition," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0803, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0803

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jere R. Behrman & Suzanne Duryea & Miguel Székely, 1999. "Aging and Economic Opportunities: Major World Regions around the Turn of the Century," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1306, Inter-American Development Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jere R. Behrman & John Hoddinott & John A. Maluccio & Reynaldo Martorell, 2009. "Brains versus Brawn: Labor Market Returns to Intellectual and Health Human Capital in a Poor Developing Country," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0907, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    2. Jack, William & Lewis, Maureen, 2009. "Health investments and economic growth : macroeconomic evidence and microeconomic foundations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4877, The World Bank.

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