NSSO surveys along India’s periphery : data quality and its implications

Kumar, Vikas (2017) NSSO surveys along India’s periphery : data quality and its implications. Working Paper. Azim Premji University, Bengaluru.

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Sample surveys conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) are the most widely used sources of household level information about consumption, employment, and other socio-economic indicators in India. The representativeness of samples, the wide range of topics surveyed, and the availability of a long-time series are some of the reasons for the appeal of NSSO data for research and policy. This paper assesses the quality of the NSSO data for Nagaland and Jammu and Kashmir, which lie in India’s politically restive ethno-geographical periphery. It argues that the NSSO data for these states during 1973-2014 lack representativeness and inter-temporal comparability due to faulty sampling frames, frame and sample non-coverage, and biased samples. It quantifies the impact of data quality on statistics of interest to policy-makers. The paper shows that the estimates of monthly per capita consumption expenditure (MPCE) are sensitive to non-coverage and argues that the incidence of poverty is underestimated because NSSO surveys failed to capture the complete distribution of consumption expenditure due to non-coverage. In Nagaland, the degree of non-coverage was so high that in most years between 1993-94 and 2011-12 the state’s poverty headcount ratio was the lowest in the country despite the possible overestimation of its poverty line. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the use of non-representative survey data. Put together, the unreliability of government statistics in Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland highlights systemic problems that have wider implications for our understanding of the relationship between state, statistics, and policy-making

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Authors: Kumar, Vikas
Document Language:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Data Quality, Household Surveys, Insurgency, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Non-coverage, NSSO, Poverty
Subjects: Social sciences > Sociology & anthropology > Communities
Social sciences > Economics > Macroeconomics & related topics
Divisions: Azim Premji University > University Publications > Working Paper
Full Text Status: Public
Related URLs:
Note: The working paper series aims at reflecting the range of work done across the Azim Premji Foundation, including the Field Institutes and the University, and disseminating this work to a broader audience. University faculty, members of Field Institutes of the Foundation as well as students graduating from the University may contribute to the series. The findings, interpretations and conclusions expressed in these papers are entirely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Azim Premji University.
URI: http://publications.azimpremjiuniversity.edu.in/id/eprint/254
Publisher URL: http://azimpremjiuniversity.edu.in/SitePages/pdf/A...

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