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Methodological Experiment on Measuring Asset Ownership from a Gender Perspective : Technical Report (English)

In their productive capacity, assets generate income and facilitate access to capital and credit. In the face of shocks, they enhance the ability to diversify income and alleviate liquidity constraints (Hulme and Shepherd, 2003; Carter and Barrett, 2006). Ownership of, and control over assets is a key input into individual empowerment and the related micro data constitute an essential input into extensive economic research focused on intra-household bargaining outcomes and their impact on household and individual welfare. Underlying these sub-optimal approaches to individual level data collection, in particular the use of proxy respondents that overlooks information asymmetries within households, is the lack of technical guidelines on questionnaire design and respondent selection protocols that properly capture individual-level ownership of, and rights to assets. In a world of imperfect and scarce data, the absence of these recommended practices fuels the prevalence of myths regarding women’s asset ownership and contributes to the inability to clearly articulate policy responses to inequalities faced by women and men (Doss et al., 2015). The provision of these guidelines, anchored in solid methodological research, would in turn improve the collection of household survey data facilitating better socioeconomic research focused on personal wealth and its distribution. The MEXA design was informed by the recommendations of the EDGE Follow-up Meeting on Measuring Asset Ownership from a Gender Perspective that was held on November 21–22, 2013 with participation from the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the UN Women, World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UBOS and Yale University. A review of the survey instruments and protocols linked to the Gender Asset Gap Project, Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), Demographic and Health Surveys, and Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) initiative was important for distilling the prominent approaches to respondent selection in household surveys across the developing world.


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    Kilic,Talip, Moylan,Heather G., Muwonge, James, Madaya, Norah, Ssennono, Vincent

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    Working Paper

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    The World Region,

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    Technical Report

  • Keywords

    put in motion; Ownership Share Type; asset class; Demographic and Health Survey; Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing; annual population growth rate; population living in poverty; policy responses to inequality; enforcement of property right; household survey; household survey data; control of asset; treatment effect; household sample; bundle of rights; rights to land; financial asset class; living standard measurement; household and individual; agricultural land; national poverty line; Surveys and Methods; Certificate of Ownership; share of labor; national household survey; land and poverty; gender and development; aggregation of asset; inaccessible rural area; share of woman; types of asset; ownership of asset; inventory of asset; access to capital; Access to Electricity; test of equality; international labour organisation; million people; list of asset; right holder; collected information; customary law; individual level; individual ownership; financial account; field staff; per household; gold standard; unique identification; observable asset; state law; specific asset; joint ownership; gender bias; sample household; land right; Real estate; methodological research; gender difference; knowledge gap; female respondent; Gender Equality; hidden asset; ownership status; summary statistic; gender perspective; technical expertise; land area; gender indicator; heavily dependent; value added; data processing; Survey Solutions; other asset; future research; consumer durable; agricultural population; household asset; adult population; secure tenure; agricultural employment; agricultural equipment; Gender Gap; total employment; knowledge generation; household characteristic; social research; several reasons; alternative household; Natural Resources; individual asset; legal implication; construction cost; enumeration area; personal asset; DEC Survey Unit; survey instrument; spatial variation; national statistical; opposite sex; asset value; male relative; health indicator; individual right; comparative assessment; social scientist; personal communication; ownership question; rural setting; legal pluralism; information asymmetry; liquidity constraint; survey design; ownership claims; qualitative aspect; cultural norm; household bargaining; economic research; sample design; ownership data; temporal variation; agricultural season; female adult; affirmative action; marginalized group; response rate; socioeconomic research; gender dimension; social system; multivariate regression; crop production; personal wealth; Economic Inequality; analytical capacity; confidentiality agreement; sdg indicators; personal information; household questionnaire; survey research; productive capacity



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Kilic,Talip Moylan,Heather G. Muwonge, James Madaya, Norah Ssennono, Vincent

Methodological Experiment on Measuring Asset Ownership from a Gender Perspective : Technical Report (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.