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Keywords:

  • C31;
  • C42;
  • C81;
  • D12;
  • D31;
  • dI32
  • household survey;
  • money metric poverty;
  • poverty model;
  • poverty prediction;
  • Uganda

This paper examines the performance of a method of predicting poverty rates. Because most developing countries cannot justify the expense of frequent household budget surveys, additional low-cost methods have been developed and used. The prediction method is based on a model linking the proportion of poor households to suitable explanatory variables (consumption proxies). These consumption proxies are variables that can be collected at much lower cost through smaller annual surveys. Several applications have shown that such models can produce poverty estimates with confidence intervals of a similar magnitude to the poverty estimates from the household budget surveys. There is, however, limited evidence of how well the methods perform out-of-sample. A series of seven household budget surveys conducted in Uganda in the period 1993–2005 allows us to test the prediction performance of the model. We test the poverty models by using data from one survey to predict the proportion of poor households in other surveys, and vice versa. The results are encouraging, as all models predict similar poverty trends. Although in most cases the predictions are precise, sometimes they differ significantly from the poverty level estimated from the survey directly.