The Analytical Returns to Measuring a Detailed Household Roster

43 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2010

See all articles by Richard Akresh

Richard Akresh

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Eric V. Edmonds

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Households are dynamic while most surveys only collect information on individuals who are present at a single point in time. We exploit a unique and thorough household membership enumeration in Burkina Faso to consider the analytical costs of the typical static household roster. We document that households are extremely fluid with 10 percent of individuals spending sometime away over a three year period, averaging 16 of the 36 months away. The residency status of persons age 16 to 24 is most in flux. A more complete enumeration offers substantial analytical richness that is especially important for the analysis of issues that are intertwined with who is present in the household, such as the measurement of income inequality and the nature of sibling interactions in education decisions. We find that evidence of sibling rivalry in Burkina Faso appears to owe to the correlation between the presence of sisters in a household and nonagricultural income. We argue for more detailed and thorough measurement of household composition in future multi-purpose household surveys.

Keywords: sibling rivalry, Lorenz curves, household composition, schooling

JEL Classification: O15, J12, I21, J13

Suggested Citation

Akresh, Richard and Edmonds, Eric V., The Analytical Returns to Measuring a Detailed Household Roster. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4759, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1556547

Richard Akresh (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Eric V. Edmonds

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

6106 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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