RESEARCH WORKING PAPER
The authors construct and derive the properties of
Using data from Ecuador, the authors obtain estimates
estimators of welfare that take advantage of the detailed
of welfare measures, some of which are quite reliable for
information about living standards available in small
populations as small as 15,000 households-a "town."
household surveys and the comprehensive coverage of a
They provide simple illustrations of their use. Such
census or large sample. By combining the strengths of
estimates open up the possibility of testing, at a more
each, the estimators can be used at a remarkably
convincing intra-country level, the many recent models
disaggregated level. They have a clear interpretation, are
relating welfare distributions to growth and a variety of
mutually comparable, and can be assessed for reliability
socioeconomic and political outcomes.
using standard statistical theory.
This paper-a product of the Poverty Team, Development Research Group-is part of a larger effort in the group to develop
tools for the analysis of poverty and income distribution. Copies of the paper are available free from the World Bank, 1818
H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433. Please contact Patricia Sader, room MC3-556, telephone 202-473-3902, fax 202-
522-1153, email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Policy Research Working Papers are also posted on the Web at
http://econ.worldbank.org. The authors may be contacted at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com. October 2002. (57 pages)
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