Economy of scale factors were developed in 1975 and have since been utilized as household size adjustment factors in estimating household costs of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) food plans. As such, these adjustment factors have a direct impact on the Food Stamp Program coupon allotments. In the present study, the stability of these factors over time was assessed, and the impact of diet quality measures in determining the adjustment factors was investigated. The reported household scale factors, estimated using regression analyses and the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey, Survey of Food Consumption in Low-Income Households, 1977-78, varied somewhat from former estimates and were found to be highly dependent on the diet quality measures incorporated in the analysis. Incorporation of several diet quality variables as well as partition specific means are recommended for determining household size adjustment factors to be used in estimating household costs of USDA food plans.
This paper revisits the role of land
measurement error in the inverse farm size and productivity
relationship. By making use of data from a nationally
representative household survey from Uganda, in which
self-reported land size information is complemented by plot
measurements collected using Global Position System devices,
the authors reject the hypothesis that the inverse
relationship may just be a statistical artifact linked to
problems with land measurement error. In particular, the
paper explores: (i) the determinants of the bias in land
measurement, (ii) how this bias varies systematically with
plot size and landholding, and (iii) the extent to which
land measurement error affects the relative advantage of
smallholders implied by the inverse relationship. The
findings indicate that using an improved measure of land
size strengthens the evidence in support of the existence of
the inverse relationship.
Consumption expenditure has long been
the preferred measure of household living standards.
However, accurate measurement is a challenge and household
expenditure surveys vary widely across many dimensions,
including the level of reporting, the length of the
reference period, and the degree of commodity detail. These
variations occur both across countries and also over time
within countries. There is little current understanding of
the implications of such changes for spatially and
temporally consistent measurement of household consumption
and poverty. A field experiment in Tanzania tests eight
alternative methods to measure household consumption on a
sample of 4,000 households. There are significant
differences between consumption reported by the benchmark
personal diary and other diary and recall formats.
Under-reporting is particularly relevant in illiterate
households and for urban respondents completing household
diaries; recall modules measure lower consumption than a
personal diary, with larger gaps among poorer households and
households with more adult members. Variations in reporting
accuracy by household characteristics are also discussed and
differences in measured poverty as a result of survey design
are explored. The study concludes with recommendations for
methods of survey based consumption measurement in
In rural Indonesia, around 60 percent of
workers engage in agriculture and face regular climatic
shocks that may threaten their crop production, household
income, and human capital investments. Little is known about
households ability to maintain consumption in response to
these shocks. This paper uses both longitudinal and repeated
cross-sectional data to examine the extent to which farm
profits and household consumption are reduced by delayed
monsoon onset, an important determinant of rice production
in Indonesia. It also investigates whether poor households
are more vulnerable to delayed onset. Overall, delayed onset
has minor effects on rural households profit and
consumption. For poor households, defined as those with
average per capita consumption in the lowest quintile,
delayed onset the previous year is associated with a 13
percent decline in per capita consumption. Most of this
decline is due to an increase in household size, however,
and delayed onset two years ago is positively correlated
with consumption. The findings suggest that poor households
experience greater volatility but no lasting reduction in
consumption following delayed monsoon onset.
This paper analyzes poverty in Haiti
based on the first Living Conditions Survey of 7,186
households covering the whole country and representative at
the regional level. Using a USD1 a day extreme poverty line,
the analysis reveals that 49 percent of Haitian households
live in absolute poverty. Twenty, 56, and 58 percent of
households in metropolitan, urban, and rural areas,
respectively, are poor. At the regional level, poverty is
especially extensive in the northeastern and northwestern
regions. Access to assets such as education and
infrastructure services is highly unequal and strongly
correlated with poverty. Moreover, children in indigent
households attain less education than children in nonpoor
households. Controlling for individual and household
characteristics, location, and region, living in a rural
area does not by itself affect the probability of being
poor. But in rural areas female headed households are more
likely to experience poverty than male headed households.
Domestic migration and education are both key factors that
reduce the likelihood of falling into poverty. Employment is
essential to improve livelihoods and both the farm and
nonfarm sector play a key role.
This paper addresses labor markets in
Haiti, including farm and nonfarm employment and income
generation. The analyses are based on the first Living
Conditions Survey of 7,186 households covering the whole
country and representative at the regional level. The
findings suggest that four key determinants of employment
and productivity in nonfarm activities are education,
gender, location, and migration status. This is emphasized
when nonfarm activities are divided into low-return and
high-return activities. The wage and producer income
analyses reveal that education is key to earning higher
wages and incomes. Moreover, producer incomes increase with
farm size, land title, and access to tools, electricity,
roads, irrigation, and other farm inputs.
Linking growth and poverty is a crucial element for evaluating the effectiveness of government policies under the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) process. Burkina Faso has benefited from more than 3 percent growth in per-capita incomes since the devaluation in 1994, while the steady increase in incomes, albeit from a very low level, should over time have lifted some Burkinabe above the poverty line, and led to a reduction in poverty rates. Growth during 1998-2003 was driven by a large expansion of the primary sector, following the 1997-98 drought. This study uses household data from 1998 and 2003 data to a) consider the measurement of poverty over time; b) study the links between growth and poverty in 1998-2003, and under possible future growth paths; c) examine the relationship between poverty and social services; and, d) illustrate equity considerations in the execution of fiscal policy choices. Using a comparable poverty measure, it was found that poverty headcount declined by about 8 percentage points between 1998 and 2003. The poverty decline was stronger in rural, than in urban areas, and, inequality remained largely unchanged on the national level between 1998 and 2003. The conclusion that poverty declined between 1998 and 2003...
This paper is aimed at providing
guidance on transport issues for those involved in designing
multi-topic household surveys such as the Living Standards
Measurement Studies (LSMS) surveys. The inclusion of a few
key questions can provide critical information for better
designing transport programs and policies aimed at improving
access, affordability and quality services. Questions on
transport access, quality, mode, distance, time, and cost
can help to understand the constraints that the population
may face in accessing jobs, markets, schools, health clinics
and other social services. All of this can be broken down by
subgroups such as income, geographic area, gender,
employment, etc. further strengthening the relevance of the
analysis and contribution to policy decisions. The paper
covers background on transport and multi-topic household
surveys, key transport policy concerns and data needs,
approaches to analysis, issues of survey design, and
prototype questions that could be included in existing surveys.
Although non-farm enterprises are
ubiquitous in rural Sub-Saharan Africa, little is yet known
about them. The motivation for households to operate
enterprises, how productive they are, and why they exit the
market are neglected questions. Drawing on the Living
Standards Measurement Study -- Integrated Surveys on
Agriculture and using discrete choice, selection model and
panel data estimators, this paper provide answers using data
from Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The necessity to cope following shocks, seasonality in
agriculture, and household size can push rural households
into operating a non-farm enterprise. Households are also
pulled into entrepreneurship to exploit opportunities.
Access to credit and markets, household wealth, and the
education and age of the household head are positively
associated with the likelihood of operating an enterprise.
The characteristics are also associated with the type of
business activity a household operates. Rural and
female-headed enterprises and enterprises with young
enterprise owners are less productive than urban and
male-owned enterprises and enterprises with older owners.
Shocks have a negative association with enterprise operation
and productivity and a large share of rural enterprises does
not operate continuously over a year. Enterprises cease
operations because of low profits...
For capturing dynamic demographic relationships, longitudinal household data can have considerable advantages over more widely used cross-sectional data. But because the collection of longitudinal data may be difficult and expensive, analysts must assess the magnitudes of the problems, specific to longitudinal, but not to cross-sectional data. One problem that concerns many analysts is that sample attrition may make the interpretation of estimates problematic. Such attrition may be especially severe where there is considerable migration between rural, and urban areas. And attrition is likely to be selective on such characteristics as schooling, so high attrition is likely to bias estimates. The authors consider the extent, and implications of attrition for three longitudinal household surveys from Bolivia, Kenya, and South Africa that report very high annual attrition rates between survey rounds. Their estimates indicate that: 1) the means for a number of critical outcome, and family background variables differ significantly between those who are lost to follow-up, and those who are re-interviewed. 2) A number of family background variables are significant predictors of attrition. 3) Nevertheless, the coefficient estimates for standard family background variables in regressions...
This paper utilises micro data on consumption, family composition and land ownership of nearly 70,000 rural Indian households to analyse poverty in rural India. The study, conducted at the disaggregated level of individual States, examines the impact of household size and composition, caste, gender of household head, and size of land ownership on a household’s poverty status. The introduction of consumption economies of household size and of adult/child consumption relativities affect the poverty estimates but not the State poverty rankings. Scheduled castes/tribes are more vulnerable to poverty than others. In contrast, female headed households display, in many States, higher poverty only in the presence of size economies and adult/child relativities. However, the latter result is not always yes. On this and in several other respects, the study finds sharp differences between the constituent States of the Indian Union.; yes
Previous research suggests that income inequality is lower in Spain than in the U.S. This paper studies whether this ranking remains the same when household consumption expenditures are used as a proxy for household welfare. Both inequality and social welfare, as components of economic well-being, are examined. Total household expenditures from each country’s 1990-91 consumer expenditure survey are used as the basis for the analysis. For tractability, equivalence scales depend only on the number of people in the household and not any other demographic characteristic. Household specific price indices are used to express the 1990-91 expenditure distributions at winter of 1981 and winter of 1991 prices. Decomposable measurement instruments are used both for the inequality and social welfare analyses. Bootstrap methods are used to produce confidence intervals for all estimates. When consumption expenditures are substituted for income as the measure of economic well-being, the ranking of Spain and the U.S. varies as both household size and the equivalence scale adjustment change. When focusing on household size alone, inequality and welfare comparisons are drastically different for smaller and larger households. The income inequality ranking can only be maintained for expenditure distributions when economies of scale are assumed to be small or non-existent. However...
The purpose of this research is to examine the role of household size and household specific price indices on inequality and welfare measurement in Spain and the O.S. Total household expenditures from each countries' 1990-91 consumer expenditure surveys, with adjustments to reflect more accurately households' current consumption, are used as the basis for the analysis. Household size scale factors are used to produce adjusted expenditures. Household specific price indices are used to expresss the 1990-91 expenditure distribution at winter of 1981 and winter of 1991 prices. Decomposable measurement instruments are used both for the inequality and social welfare analyses. Our results show that wide differences in household size can be very important in international comparisons. Inequality and welfare comparisons are drastically different for smaller and larger households. For both countries we find that from the point of view of winter 1981, the amount of expenditures that we would need to give to richer households to compensate them for inflation, over the 1981 to 1991 period, would be greater than the amount that we would need to give to poorer households for them to be able to acquire the same bundle of goods. Our inequality comparisons are robust to the choice of the reference price vector.
The paper provides an overview of
household welfare, labor markets, and social programs in
Albania, outside of its capital, in 1996. At the time,
Albania was in a cross roads, from a period of phenomenal
growth, to a series of economic crisis, though still ranking
as the poorest country in the Central and Eastern Europe
Region. The main findings suggest that the majority of the
poor are rural, self-employed in agriculture, a result of
Albania's large rural population that is mainly
employed in subsistence agriculture. These households also
have the highest poverty incidence, followed by out of labor
force individuals, and the unemployed. Not surprising, the
highest poverty incidence is in the rural north, requiring
subsidized wheat, and cash transfers to survive difficult
winters. Interestingly, migration is a major coping strategy
in Albania: households with no migrants, were poorer than
those where a family member was working abroad. The study
raises concern about the education system, and safety nets,
considering there are high drop out rates in basic...
Brazil's inequalities in welfare
and poverty across and within regions can be accounted for
by differences in household attributes and returns to those
attributes. This paper uses Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions at
the mean as well as at different quantiles of welfare
distributions on regionally representative household survey
data (2002-03 Household Budget Survey). The analysis finds
that household attributes account for most of the welfare
differences between urban and rural areas within regions.
However, comparing the lagging Northeast region with the
leading Southeast region, differences in returns to
attributes account for a large part of the welfare
disparities, in particular in metropolitan areas, supporting
the presence of agglomeration effects in booming areas.
What strategies have Russian households
used, to cope with economic hardship in the wake of recent
financial crisis? Which coping strategies have been most
effective in reducing poverty for different groups of
households? And how have people been able to adapt to the
dramatic drop in formal cash incomes? The authors look at
these questions using subjective evaluations of coping
strategies used by household survey respondents to mitigate
the effects of the Russian financial crisis on their
welfare. The data come from two rounds (1996 and 1998) of
the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey. The results of
their analysis show that a household's choice of
survival strategy, strongly depends on its human capital:
the higher its level of human capital, the more likely it is
to choose an active strategy (such as finding a
supplementary job, or increasing home production).
Households with low levels of human capital, those headed by
pensioners, and those whose members have low levels of
education, are more likely to suffer social exclusion. To
prevent poverty from becoming entrenched...
During Vietnam's two decades of
rapid economic growth, its fertility rate has fallen sharply
at the same time that its educational attainment has risen
rapidly -- macro trends that are consistent with the
hypothesis of a quantity-quality tradeoff in child-rearing.
This paper investigates whether the micro-level evidence
supports the hypothesis that Vietnamese parents are in fact
making a tradeoff between quantity and quality of children.
The paper presents new measures of household investment in
private tutoring, together with traditional measures of
household investments in education. It analyzes data from
the Vietnam Household Living Standards Surveys and
instruments for family size using the distance to the
nearest family planning center. The estimation results show
that families do indeed invest less in the education of
school-age children who have larger numbers of siblings.
This effect holds for several indicators of educational
investment -- including general education expenditure and
various measures of private tutoring investment -- and is
robust to various definitions of family size and model
specifications that control for community characteristics as
well as the distance to the city center. Finally...
This paper addresses three areas of the rural labor market-employment, labor wages, and agriculture producer incomes. Findings show that the poor allocate a lower share of their labor to farm sectors than the nonpoor do, but still around 70 percent work in agriculture, and the vast majority of rural workers are engaged in the informal sector. When examining nonfarm employment in rural Argentina, findings suggest that key determinants of access to employment and productivity in nonfarm activities are education, skills, land access, location, and gender. Employment analyses show that women have higher probability than men to participate in rural nonfarm activities and they are not confined to low-return employment. Moreover, workers living in poorer regions with land access are less likely to be employed in the nonfarm sector. There is strong evidence that educated people have better prospects in both the farm and nonfarm sectors, and that education is an important determinant of employment in the better-paid nonfarm activities. Labor wage analyses reveal that labor markets pay lower returns to poorer than to richer women and returns to education are increasing with increased level of completed education and income level. And nonfarm income and employment are highly correlated with gender...
Poverty reduction is an important goal
for governments of many developing countries. This goal is
synonymous with economic development and achieving a higher
quality of life for all population groups. Thus, monitoring
the dynamics of poverty and inequality is implicit in the
monitoring of progress in societal development. As the vast
literature shows, development progress to a large extent
depends on economic and social policies and economic growth.
Thus, identifying the relationship between relevant economic
variables and poverty and inequality indicators may provide
policy guidance on what has furthered the country's
progress. The report consists of two main parts. The first
part discusses poverty and inequality for 2009 and, thus,
from a static perceptive. So, the first section describes
and discusses the main features and correlates of the poor.
The goal is to provide a brief overview of poverty in the
Kyrgyz Republic and describe the characteristics of
households and the poor. This is achieved by considering the
poverty incidence among households and individuals
differentiated by such characteristics as age...
The state of Bahia, Brazil has made
progress in reducing poverty and improving social indicators
in the past decade. Despite this progress, Bahia's
poverty is among the highest and its social indicators are
among the lowest in Brazil. Currently, 41 percent of
Bahia's population live in households below the poverty
level, a drop of 14 percentage points since 1993. Moreover,
poverty is less deep than in 1993, but deeper than in 1981.
The fall in Bahia's social indicators, such as infant
mortality and adult illiteracy, corroborate the improvement
in measured income poverty. Part of the reason why the
poverty indicators of Bahia are worse than in other
countries with similar per-capita income is because of
income inequality. In 2000 the Gini coefficient for Bahia
was 0.61. The National Household Survey Data, PNAD, from
1981-2001 reveal that living in Bahia does not by itself
affect the probability of falling below the poverty line in
Brazil. Hence, other characteristics are more important for
poverty reduction than geographical location. The strongest
poverty correlates are education...