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The Insights and Illusions of Consumption Measurements

Erich Battistin (), Michele De Nadai and Nandini Krishnan

No 14730, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: While household well-being derives from long-term average rates of consumption, welfare comparisons typically rely on shorter-duration survey measurements. We develop a new strategy to identify the distribution of these long-term rates by leveraging a large-scale randomization that elicited repeated short-duration measurements from diaries and recall questions. Identification stems from diary-recall differences in reports from the same household, does not require reports to be error-free, and hinges on a research design with broad replicability. Our strategy delivers cost-effective suggestions for designing survey modules that yield the closest measurements of consumption well-being, and offers new insights to interpret and reconcile diary-recall differences in household surveys.

Keywords: Household surveys; Measurement of inequality and poverty; Modes of data collection (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C81 D31 D63 E21 I32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mac
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