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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - Policy Research Working Paper
Title Estimating Poverty Rates in Target Populations: An Assessment of the Simple Poverty Scorecard and Alternative Approaches
Author(s)
Issue 7793
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/801751471268674333/pdf/WPS7793.pdf
Abstract
The performance of the Simple Poverty Scorecard is compared against the performance of established regression-based estimators. All estimates are benchmarked against observed poverty status based on household expenditure (or income) data from household socioeconomic surveys that span nearly a decade and are representative of subnational populations. When the models all adopt the same “one-size-fits-all” training approach, there is no meaningful difference in performance and the Simple Poverty Scorecard is as good as any of the regressionbased estimators. The findings change, however, when the regression-based estimators are “trained” on “training sets” that more closely resemble potential subpopulation test sets. In this case, regression-based models outperform the nationally calculated Simple Poverty Scorecard in terms of bias and variance. These findings highlight the fundamental trade-off between simplicity of use and accuracy.

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