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Identifying Pockets of Poverty: Insights from Poverty Mapping Experiments in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal
Shubhashis Gangopadhyay, Peter Lanjouw, Tara Vishwanath and Nobuo Yoshida
This paper applies statistical procedures to combine census and household survey data in order to estimate poverty at the sub-state level in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal. The goal is to produce reliable poverty estimates at levels of disaggregation that the NSS household survey data alone cannot support. The analysis is underpinned by a small area estimation method developed by Elbers, et al. (2002, 2003). This methodology has seen widespread international application and efforts have been made here to carefully implement the procedure. Nonetheless, during the course of implementation, several data-related and methodological issues have been uncovered. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the basic approach and to report some preliminary findings, as well as to examine their quality and reliability in some detail. The disaggregated picture of poverty that emerges from this analysis confirms the existence of ‘pockets’ of poverty and inequality in the three states that might otherwise be overlooked.

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