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Poverty in Mozambique : new evidence from recent household surveys

Author

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  • Alfani, Federica
  • Azzarri, Carlo
  • d'Errico, Marco
  • Molini, Vasco

Abstract

This paper has three primary objectives: (i) to investigate potential problems regarding Mozambique's most recent nationally representative household survey on poverty dynamics; (ii) to assess the robustness and reliability of official poverty statistics; and (iii) to provide alternative estimates of poverty and welfare indicators in light of the methodological and analytical issues raised in areas (i) and (ii). It is determined that at least two significant weaknesses affect the official poverty-rate estimates: measurement errors in consumption data and flaws in the methodology used to calculate poverty lines (the cost-of-basic-needs approach based on provincial food bundles with entropy correction). A number of observations appear to be affected by substantial measurement errors, which severely distort the official poverty statistics. The paper provides methods to correct the consumption distribution by recalculating poverty lines based on a single national food basket -- as opposed to the current estimates, which are based on province-specific food baskets. The revised poverty statistics differ considerably from the official estimates of poverty across provinces and are far more consistent with other poverty indicators. In addition, poverty appears to be highly concentrated in certain areas, with dramatically higher rates found in Central and Northern Mozambique, as well as in rural areas overall, compared with relatively low rates in Southern Mozambique and in the country's urban centers. These findings substantially contradict the government's official poverty figures, which appear to systematically overestimate poverty rates in Mozambique's Southern provinces and urban areas while simultaneously underestimating the prevalence of poverty in the country's Central and Northern regions and in rural areas nationwide.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfani, Federica & Azzarri, Carlo & d'Errico, Marco & Molini, Vasco, 2012. "Poverty in Mozambique : new evidence from recent household surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6217, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6217
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cunguara, Benedito & Hanlon, Joseph, 2010. "Poverty is not being reduced in Mozambique," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28467, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Carlos Maia & Servaas van der Berg, 2010. "When the remedy is worse than the disease: Adjusting survey income data for price differentials, with special reference to Mozambique," Working Papers 24/2010, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    3. Channing Arndt & Kenneth R. Simler, 2010. "Estimating Utility-Consistent Poverty Lines with Applications to Egypt and Mozambique," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(3), pages 449-474, April.
    4. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 2001. "Estimating Wealth Effects Without Expenditure Data—Or Tears: An Application To Educational Enrollments In States Of India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 115-132, February.
    5. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101, August.
    6. Jocelyne Delarue & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps & Jean-David Naudet & Anne-Sophie Robilliard, 2009. "The Sikasso Paradoxe: Cotton and Poverty in Mali," Working Papers DT/2009/09, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    7. Channing Arndt & Andres Garcia & Finn Tarp & James Thurlow, 2012. "Poverty Reduction and Economic Structure: Comparative Path Analysis for Mozambique and Vietnam," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(4), pages 742-763, December.
    8. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2003. "On the utility consistency of poverty lines," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3157, The World Bank.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fox, Louise & Sohnesen, Thomas Pave, 2013. "Household enterprises in Mozambique : key to poverty reduction but not on the development agenda ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6570, The World Bank.
    2. Anselmi, Laura & Lagarde, Mylène & Hanson, Kara, 2015. "Going beyond horizontal equity: An analysis of health expenditure allocation across geographic areas in Mozambique," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 216-224.
    3. Shinkai, Naoko, 2016. "Examination of Poverty in Northern Mozambique: A Comparison of Social and Economic Dimensions," Working Papers 133, JICA Research Institute.
    4. Channing Arndt & Azhar M. Hussain & Vincenzo Salvucci & Finn Tarp & Lars Peter Østerdal, 2016. "Poverty Mapping Based on First‐Order Dominance with an Example from Mozambique," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 3-21, January.
    5. Arndt Channing & Jones Sam & Tarp Finn, 2015. "Mozambique: Off-track or Temporarily Sidelined?," WIDER Working Paper Series 044, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Arndt, Channing & Salvucci, Vincenzo & Tarp, Finn & Østerdal, Lars Peter & Hussain, M. Azhar, 2013. "Advancing Small Area Estimation," WIDER Working Paper Series 053, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Wouter Zant, 2017. "Impact of Mobile Phones on Staple Food Markets in Mozambique: Improved Arbitrage or Increased Rent Extraction?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-021/V, Tinbergen Institute, revised 26 Jan 2018.
    8. repec:wbk:wbpubs:28971 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. van den Boom,Bart & Halsema,Alex & Molini,Vasco, 2015. "Are we confusing poverty with preferences ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7247, The World Bank.
    10. Diksha Arora, 2014. "Gender Differences in Time Poverty in Rural Mozambique," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2014_05, University of Utah, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rural Poverty Reduction; Regional Economic Development; Poverty Lines; Food&Beverage Industry;

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