Estimating Consumption-Based Poverty in the Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey

Course ID
Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)

Inequalities in health are linked with poverty, but quantifying the health/poverty nexus is hampered by data constraints. In particular, the most common measure of poverty compares consumption with poverty lines, but consumption surveys often do not collect detailed health data. Conversely, the large repository of internationally comparable Demographic and Health Surveys has detailed health data but no consumption data. This has led DHS researchers who want to control for socioeconomic status use an asset index defined in terms of housing characteristics and the ownership of durable goods. While this is a valid conception of poverty, it is difficult to compare it with the more-common consumption-based measure. This paper presents a simple poverty scorecard for Ethiopia based on the poverty-mapping approach of Elbers et al. (2003). It allows researchers to estimate the likelihood that consumption is below a given poverty line using nine verifiable, inexpensive-to-collect indicators found in both Ethiopia’s 2005 DHS and in the 2004/5 Household Income, Consumption, and Expenditure Survey. It turns out that the poverty scorecard and the DHS asset index do not generally rank people the same, so estimates of consumption based poverty in the DHS should use the poverty scorecard, not the DHS asset index. The bias and precision of scorecard estimates compare well with that of other tools, suggesting that government could use it to track poverty in years between national household expenditure surveys

Publisher:Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA)
Primary Descriptors:Poverty measurement, asset index

Secondary Descriptor:Health

Geographic Descriptors:Ethiopia
Cataloge Date:10/21/2013
Broad Subject heading:poverty mapping
Call Number:330.05 ETH JOU
Serial Key Title:Ethiopian Journal of Economics
Publication catagory:Ethiopian Journal of Economics
Content type:EEA Publication
Year:April 2012
Publication date:2013-03-01 00:00:00
Place of publication:Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Type of material:Serial
Current frequency:Semiannual
Author: Schreiner, Mark