Brazil within Brazil: Testing the Poverty Map Methodology in Minas Gerais

43 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Chris Ebers

Chris Ebers

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Peter F. Lanjouw

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Phillippe G. Leite

World Bank - Research Department

Date Written: February 1, 2008

Abstract

The small-area estimation technique developed for producing poverty maps has been applied in a large number of developing countries. Opportunities to formally test the validity of this approach remain rare due to lack of appropriately detailed data. This paper compares a set of predicted welfare estimates based on this methodology against their true values, in a setting where these true values are known. A recent study draws on Monte Carlo evidence to warn that the small-area estimation methodology could significantly over-state the precision of local-level estimates of poverty, if underlying assumptions of spatial homogeneity do not hold. Despite these concerns, the findings in this paper for the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, indicate that the small-area estimation approach is able to produce estimates of welfare that line up quite closely to their true values. Although the setting considered here would seem, a priori, unlikely to meet the homogeneity conditions that have been argued to be essential for the method, confidence intervals for the poverty estimates also appear to be appropriate. However, this latter conclusion holds only after carefully controlling for community-level factors that are correlated with household level welfare.

Keywords: Statistical &Mathematical Sciences, Population Policies, Science Education, Scientific Research &Science Parks, Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping

Suggested Citation

Ebers, Chris and Lanjouw, Peter F. and Leite, Phillippe G., Brazil within Brazil: Testing the Poverty Map Methodology in Minas Gerais (February 1, 2008). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4513, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1092691

Chris Ebers

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Peter F. Lanjouw

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-4529 (Phone)
202-522-1153 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/planjouw

Phillippe G. Leite (Contact Author)

World Bank - Research Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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