The lack of high-frequency data on economic outcomes is a major impediment to development policy. The goal of this project is to develop new methods for estimating welfare, and changes in welfare over time. Under the leadership of Joshua Blumenstock, the team is developing innovative techniques for estimating poverty and vulnerability, including exposure to economic shocks, by combining traditional face-to-face and phone-based surveys with large-scale data from telecommunications networks. These techniques have been deployed and calibrated in Afghanistan, a uniquely challenging “real world” context that is a priority focus of US and international policymakers. Results forthcoming.
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