Micro-Level Estimation of Welfare
57 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: October 2002
The authors construct and derive the properties of estimators of welfare that take advantage of the detailed information about living standards available in small household surveys and the comprehensive coverage of a census or large sample. By combining the strengths of each, the estimators can be used at a remarkably disaggregated level. They have a clear interpretation, are mutually comparable, and can be assessed for reliability using standard statistical theory.
Using data from Ecuador, the authors obtain estimates of welfare measures, some of which are quite reliable for populations as small as 15,000 households - a "town." They provide simple illustrations of their use. Such estimates open up the possibility of testing, at a more convincing intra-country level, the many recent models relating welfare distributions to growth and a variety of socioeconomic and political outcomes.
This paper - a product of the Poverty Team, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to develop tools for the analysis of poverty and income distribution.
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