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Better to be indirect? Testing the accuracy and cost-savings of indirect surveys

Jennifer M. Alix-Garcia, Katharine Sims and Laura Costica

World Development, 2021, vol. 142, issue C

Abstract: We test the validity of indirect surveying as a method to collect household data. We compare household and informant reports of assets, develop poverty indices from both, test their performance as regression covariates, and examine errors in reporting and targeting resulting from using indirectly reported variables. Informant-based targeting indices are highly correlated with household measures and can be reasonable substitutes for self-reported indices in simple regressions. They can also be used to assign a simulated anti-poverty program with similar error rates to related methods. In our setting, eliminating direct household surveys would have reduced survey costs by 50%.

Keywords: Indirect survey; Survey design; Targeting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C83 I32 I38 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2021.105419

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