Development Research Group, Development Economics, DEC
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Poverty, POV, Health, HEA
Development Research Group
Development Economics, DEC
Development Economics, DEC
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Last updated August 15, 2023
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Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
What Does Variation in Survey Design Reveal about the Nature of Measurement Errors in Household Consumption?(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-02) Gibson, John ; Beegle, Kathleen ; De Weerdt, Joachim ; Friedman, JedThis paper uses data from eight different consumption questionnaires randomly assigned to 4,000 households in Tanzania to obtain evidence on the nature of measurement errors in estimates of household consumption. While there are no validation data, the design of one questionnaire and the resources put into its implementation make it likely to be substantially more accurate than the others. Comparing regressions using data from this benchmark design with results from the other questionnaires shows that errors have a negative correlation with the true value of consumption, creating a non-classical measurement error problem for which conventional statistical corrections may be ineffective.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-01) De Weerdt, Joachim ; Beegle, Kathleen ; Friedman, Jed ; Gibson, JohnThere 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.
Health Information, Treatment, and Worker Productivity : Experimental Evidence from Malaria Testing and Treatment among Nigerian Sugarcane Cutters(World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-11) Dillon, Andrew ; Friedman, Jed ; Serneels, PieterAgricultural and other physically demanding sectors are important sources of growth in developing countries but prevalent diseases such as malaria adversely impact the productivity, labor supply, and choice of job tasks among workers by reducing physical capacity. This study identifies the impact of malaria on worker earnings, labor supply, and daily productivity by randomizing the temporal order at which piece-rate workers at a large sugarcane plantation in Nigeria are offered malaria testing and treatment. The results indicate a significant and substantial intent to treat effect of the intervention -- the offer of a workplace-based malaria testing and treatment program increases worker earnings by approximately 10 percent over the weeks following the offer. The study further investigates the effect of health information by contrasting program effects by workers' revealed health status. For workers who test positive for malaria, the treatment of illness increases labor supply, leading to higher earnings. For workers who test negative, and especially for those workers most likely to be surprised by the healthy diagnosis, the health information also leads to increased earnings via increased productivity. Possible mechanisms for this response include selection into higher return tasks within the plantation as a result of changes in the perceived cost of effort. A model of the worker labor decision that allows health expectations partly to determine the supply of effort suggests that, in endemic settings with poor quality health services, inaccurate health perceptions may lead workers to suboptimal labor allocation decisions. The results underline the importance of medical treatment, but also of access to improved information about one's health status, as the absence of either may lead workers to deliver lower effort in lower return jobs.
Linking Results to Performance: Evidence from a Results Based Financing Pre-Pilot Project in Katete District, Zambia(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-04) Chansa, Collins ; Das, Ashis ; Qamruddin, Jumana ; Friedman, Jed ; Mkandawire, Akafwilangachi ; Vledder, Monique
Decomposing Response Errors in Food Consumption Measurement: Implications for Survey Design from a Survey Experiment in Tanzania(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-04) Friedman, Jed ; Beegle, Kathleen ; De Weerdt, Joachim ; Gibson, JohnThere is wide variation in how consumption is measured in household surveys both across countries and over time. This variation may confound welfare comparisons in part because these alternative survey designs produce consumption estimates that are differentially influenced by contrasting types of survey response error. Although previous studies have documented the extent of net error in alternative survey designs, little is known about the relative influence of the different response errors that underpin a survey estimate. This study leverages a recent randomized food consumption survey experiment in Tanzania to shed light on the relative influence of these various error types. The observed deviation of measured household consumption from a benchmark is decomposed into item-specific consumption incidence and consumption value so as to investigate effects related to (a) the omission of any consumption and then (b) the error in value reporting conditional on positive consumption. The results show that various survey designs exhibit widely differing error decompositions, and hence a simple summary comparison of the total recorded consumption across surveys will obscure specific error patterns and inhibit the lessons for improved consumption survey design. In light of these findings, the relative performance of common survey designs is discussed, and design lessons are drawn to enhance the accuracy of item-specific consumption reporting and, consequently, the measures of total household food consumption.
Publication( 2010-12-01) Beegle, Kathleen ; De Weerdt, Joachim ; Friedman, Jed ; Gibson, JohnConsumption 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 low-income countries.
The Distribution of Effort: Physical Activity, Gender Roles, and Bargaining Power in an Agrarian Setting(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-04) Friedman, Jed ; Gaddis, Isis ; Kilic, Talip ; Martuscelli, Antonio ; Palacios-Lopez, Amparo ; Zezza, AlbertoThe disutility of work, often summarily described as effort, is a primal component of economic models of worker and consumer behavior. However, empirical applications that measure effort, especially those that assess the distribution of effort across known populations, are historically scarce. This paper explores intra-household differences in physical activity in a rural agrarian setting. Physical activity is captured via wearable accelerometers that provide a proxy for physical effort expended per unit of time. In the study setting of agricultural households in Malawi, men devote significantly more time to sedentary activities than women (38 minutes per day), but also spend more time on moderate-to-vigorous activities (16 minutes). Using standardized energy expenditure as a summary measure for physical effort, women exert marginally higher levels of physical effort than men. However, gender differences in effort among married partners are strongly associated with intra-household differences in bargaining power, with significantly larger husband-wife effort gaps alongside larger differences in age and individual land ownership as well as whether the couple lives as part of a polygamous union. Physical activity -- a proxy for physical effort, an understudied dimension of wellbeing -- exhibits an unequal distribution across gender in this population.