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CPI bias and its implications for poverty reduction in Africa

Author

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  • Dabalen,Andrew L.
  • Gaddis,Isis
  • Nguyen,Nga Thi Viet

Abstract

International poverty estimates for countries in Africa commonly rely on national consumer price indexes to adjust trends in nominal consumption over time for changes in the cost of living. However, the consumer price index is subject to various types of measurement bias. This paper uses Engel curve estimations to assess bias in the consumer price index and its implications for estimated poverty trends. The results suggest that in 11 of 16 Sub-Saharan African countries in this study, poverty reduction may be understated because of consumer price index bias. With correction of consumer price index bias, poverty in these countries could fall between 0.8 and 5.7 percentage points per year faster than currently thought. For two countries, however, the paper finds the opposite trend. There is no statistically significant change in poverty patterns after adjusting for consumer price index bias for the other three countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Dabalen,Andrew L. & Gaddis,Isis & Nguyen,Nga Thi Viet, 2016. "CPI bias and its implications for poverty reduction in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7907, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7907
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    2. Ingvild Almås & Timothy K.M. Beatty & Thomas F. Crossley, 2018. "Lost in Translation: What do Engel Curves Tell us about the Cost of Living?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6886, CESifo.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Poverty Monitoring&Analysis; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Poverty Lines; Poverty Diagnostics; Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping; Poverty Assessment; Inflation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access

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