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Title:Measuring food security using respondents' perception of food consumption adequacy PDF Logo
Authors:Migotto, Mauro
Davis, Benjamin
Caretto, Gero
Beegle, Kathleen
Issue Date:2006
Series/Report no.:Research Paper, UNU-WIDER, United Nations University (UNU) 2006/88
Abstract:Food security is a complex and multi-dimensional phenomenon. As such, its measurement may entail and benefit from the combination of both ‘qualitative-subjective’ and ‘quantitative-objective’ indicators. Yet, the evidence on the external validity of subjectivetype information is scarce, especially using representative household surveys. The aim of this paper is to compare information on self-perceived food consumption adequacy from the subjective modules of household surveys with standard quantitative indicators, namely calorie consumption, dietary diversity and anthropometry. Datasets from four countries are analysed: Albania, Indonesia, Madagascar and Nepal. Simple descriptive statistics, correlation coefficients, contingency tables and multivariate regression show that the ‘subjective’ indicator is at best poorly correlated with standard quantitative indicators. The paper concludes that while subjective food adequacy indicators may provide insight on the vulnerability dimension of food insecurity, they are too blunt an indicator for food insecurity targeting. An effort towards developing improved subjective food security modules that are contextually sensitive should go hand in hand with research into how to improve household survey data for food security measurement along other dimensions of the phenomenon, particularly calorie consumption.
Subjects:food security
qualitative indicators
quantitative indicators
household surveys
Albania
Indonesia
Madagascar
Nepal
JEL:I31
I32
O57
C19
C81
ISBN:9291908681
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:WIDER Research Papers, United Nations University (UNU)

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