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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

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    9. 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.
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    11. 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.
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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. Shinkai, Naoko, 2016. "Examination of Poverty in Northern Mozambique: A Comparison of Social and Economic Dimensions," Working Papers 133, JICA Research Institute.
    3. 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.
    4. Channing Arndt & Sam Jones & Finn Tarp, 2015. "Mozambique: Off-track or temporarily sidelined?," WIDER Working Paper Series 044, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. 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.
    6. Wouter Zant, 2019. "Mobile Phones and Mozambique Traders: What is the Size of Reduced Search Costs and Who Benefits?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-047/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    7. 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.
    8. Independent Evaluation Group, 2016. "Growing the Rural Nonfarm Economy to Alleviate Poverty," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 28971, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Wouter Zant, 2018. "Mobile Phones and Mozambique Farmers: Less Asymmetric Information and More Trader Competition?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-055/V, Tinbergen Institute, revised 27 Oct 2019.
    11. 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.
    12. Channing Arndt & M. Azhar Hussain & Vincenzo Salvucci & Finn Tarp & Lars Peter Østerdal, 2013. "Advancing Small Area Estimation," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2013-053, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    13. Channing Arndt & Sam Jones & Finn Tarp, 2015. "Mozambique: Off-track or Temporarily Sidelined?," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2015-044, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. 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).
    15. Mahumane, Gilberto & Mulder, Peter, 2022. "Urbanization of energy poverty? The case of Mozambique," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 159(C).
    16. van den Boom,Bart & Halsema,Alex & Molini,Vasco, 2015. "Are we confusing poverty with preferences ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7247, The World Bank.

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    Keywords

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