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The challenge of measuring hunger

Author

Listed:
  • De Weerdt, Joachim
  • Beegle, Kathleen
  • Friedman,, Jed
  • Gibson, John

Abstract

There is widespread interest in the number of hungry people in the world and trends in hunger. Current global counts rely on combining each country's total food balance with information on distribution patterns from household consumption expenditure surveys. Recent research has advocated for calculating hunger numbers directly from these same surveys. For either approach, embedded in this effort are a number of important details about how household surveys are designed and how these data are then used. Using a survey experiment in Tanzania, this study finds great fragility in hunger counts stemming from alternative survey designs. As a consequence, comparable and valid hunger numbers will be lacking until more effort is made to either harmonize survey designs or better understand the consequences of survey design variation.

Suggested Citation

  • De Weerdt, Joachim & Beegle, Kathleen & Friedman,, Jed & Gibson, John, 2014. "The challenge of measuring hunger," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6736, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6736
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Beegle, Kathleen & De Weerdt, Joachim & Friedman, Jed & Gibson, John, 2012. "Methods of household consumption measurement through surveys: Experimental results from Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 3-18.
    2. Smith, Lisa C. & Alderman, Harold & Aduayom, Dede, 2006. "Food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa: new estimates from household expenditure surveys," Research reports 146, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101, November.
    4. Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion, 2010. "The Developing World is Poorer than We Thought, But No Less Successful in the Fight Against Poverty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1577-1625.
    5. Bart Capéau & Stefan Dercon, 2006. "Prices, Unit Values and Local Measurement Units in Rural Surveys: an Econometric Approach with an Application to Poverty Measurement in Ethiopia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(2), pages 181-211, June.
    6. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1987. "Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with Income? A Case Study for Rural South India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 492-507, June.
    7. Svedberg, Peter, 1999. "841 Million Undernourished?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(12), pages 2081-2098, December.
    8. John Gibson & Bonggeun Kim, 2012. "Testing the Infrequent Purchases Model Using Direct Measurement of Hidden Consumption from Food Stocks," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(1), pages 257-270.
    9. Caeyers, Bet & Chalmers, Neil & De Weerdt, Joachim, 2012. "Improving consumption measurement and other survey data through CAPI: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 19-33.
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Decomposing response error to improve consumption survey design
      by Jed Friedman in Development Impact on 2016-04-26 04:43:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bigsten, Arne, 2016. "The Development of Development Economics," Working Papers in Economics 653, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2017.
    2. Jing You & Katsushi S. Imai & Raghav Gaiha, 2014. "Decoding the Growth-Nutrition Nexus in China: Inequality, Uncertainty and Food Insecurity," Discussion Paper Series DP2014-28, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, revised Dec 2014.
    3. Cockx, Lara & De Weerdt, Joachim, 2016. "From Corn to Popcorn? Urbanization and food consumption in Sub-Sahara Africa: Evidence from rural-urban migrants in Tanzania," 2016 Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 249270, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    4. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:20-26 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Nanak Kakwani & Hyun H. Son, 2015. "Measuring food insecurity: Global estimates," Working Papers 370, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    6. Minten, Bart & Dereje, Mekdim & Engeda, Ermias & Kuma, Tadesse, 2015. "Coffee value chains on the move: Evidence from smallholder coffee farmers in Ethiopia:," ESSP working papers 76, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Jed Friedman & Kathleen Beegle & Joachim De Weerdt & John Gibson, 2016. " Decomposing response error in food consumption measurement: implications for survey design from a survey experiment in Tanzania," Working Papers LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance 537166, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food&Beverage Industry; Food Security; Nutrition; Rural Poverty Reduction; Regional Economic Development;

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