A new GLO Discussion Paper finds that adding household utility expenditures to a basic imputation model with household-level demographic and employment variables provides accurate estimates of poverty.
GLO Discussion Paper No. 1226, 2023
Poverty Imputation in Contexts without Consumption Data: A Revisit with Further Refinements – Download PDF
by Dang, Hai-Anh H. & Kilic, Talip & Abanokova, Kseniya & Carletto, Calogero
GLO Fellow Hai-Anh Dang
Author Abstract: Household consumption data are often unavailable, not fully collected, or incomparable over time in poorer countries. Survey-to-survey imputation has been increasingly employed to address these data gaps for poverty measurement, but its effective use requires standardized protocols. We refine existing poverty imputation models using 14 multi-topic household surveys conducted over the past decade in Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Vietnam. We find that adding household utility expenditures to a basic imputation model with household-level demographic and employment variables provides accurate estimates, which even fall within one standard error of the true poverty rates in many cases. Further adding geospatial variables improves accuracy, as does including additional community-level predictors (available from data in Vietnam) related to educational achievement, poverty, and asset wealth. Yet, within-country spatial heterogeneity exists, with certain models performing well for either urban areas or rural areas only. These results offer cost-saving inputs into future survey design.
Featured image: Mika-Baumeister-on-Unsplash
RELATED STUDY – free access:
Dang, HA.H., Verme, P. Estimating poverty for refugees in data-scarce contexts: an application of cross-survey imputation. Journal of Population Economics (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00148-022-00909-x OPEN ACCESS
Vol. 36, Issue 1, January 2023: Journal of Population Economics (JOPE) 16 articles. https://link.springer.com/journal/148/volumes-and-issues/36-1
Watch the videos of article presentations on December 1, 2022 during the GLO Global Conference 2022.
JOPE has CiteScore 6.5 (2021, LINK) & Impact Factor 4.7 (2021, LINK)
GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS, EconPapers). Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.
The Global Labor Organization (GLO) is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization that functions as an international network and virtual platform to stimulate global research, debate and collaboration.