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Taylor linearization sampling errors and design effects for poverty measures and other complex statistics

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A systematic procedure for the derivation of linearized variables for the estimation of sampling errors of complex nonlinear statistics involved in the analysis of poverty and income inequality is developed. The linearized variable extends the use of standard variance estimation formulae, developed for linear statistics such as sample aggregates, to nonlinear statistics. The context is that of cross-sectional samples of complex design and reasonably large size, as typically used in population-based surveys. Results of application of the procedure to a wide range of poverty and inequality measures are presented. A standardized software for the purpose has been developed and can be provided to interested users on request. Procedures are provided for the estimation of the design effect and its decomposition into the contribution of unequal sample weights and of other design complexities such as clustering and stratification. The consequence of treating a complex statistic as a simple ratio in estimating its sampling error is also quantified. The second theme of the paper is to compare the linearization approach with an alternative approach based on the concept of replication, namely the Jackknife repeated replication (JRR) method. The basis and application of the JRR method is described, the exposition paralleling that of the linearization method but in somewhat less detail. Based on data from an actual national survey, estimates of standard errors and design effects from the two methods are analysed and compared. The numerical results confirm that the two alternative approaches generally give very similar results, though notable differences can exist for certain statistics. Relative advantages and limitations of the approaches are identified.
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Keywords: JRR; Taylor linearization; inequality; poverty; variance estimation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Quantitative Methods,University of Siena, Piazza San Francesco, 853100Siena, Italy

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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