The lack of reliable development statistics for many poor countries has led the U.N. to call for a “data revolution” (United Nations, 2013).
The Political Economy of Bad Data: Evidence from African Survey & Administrative Statistics - Working Paper 373
Across multiple African countries, discrepancies between administrative data and independent household surveys suggest official statistics systematically exaggerate development progress. We provide evidence for two distinct explanations of these discrepancies.
Despite improvements in censuses and household surveys, the building blocks of national statistical systems in sub-Saharan Africa remain weak. Measurement of fundamental statistics such as births and deaths, growth and poverty, taxes and trade, land and the environment, and sickness, schooling, and safety is shaky at best.
We report on a randomized field experiment using price incentives to address both economic and gender inequality in land tenure formalization.
Much of the data underlying global poverty and inequality estimates is not in the public domain, but can be accessed in small pieces using the World Bank's PovcalNet online tool.