Robust Small Area Estimation and Oversampling in the Estimation of Poverty Indicators
Keywords: poverty mapping, oversample, M-quantile models
AbstractThere has been rising interest in research on poverty mapping over the last decade, with the European Union proposing a core of statistical indicators on poverty commonly known as Laeken Indicators. They include the incidence and the intensity of poverty for a set of domains (e.g. young people, unemployed people). The EU-SILC (European Union - Statistics on Income and Living Conditions) survey represents the most important source of information to estimate these poverty indicators at national or regional level (NUTS 1-2 level). However, local policy makers also require statistics on poverty and living conditions at lower geographical/domain levels, but estimating poverty indicators directly from EU-SILC for these domains often leads to inaccurate estimates. To overcome this problem there are two main strategies: i. increasing the sample size of EU-SILC so that direct estimates become reliable and ii. resort to small area estimation techniques. In this paper we compare these two alternatives: with the availability of an oversampling of the EU-SILC survey for the province of Pisa, obtained as a side result of the SAMPLE project (Small Area Methods for Poverty and Living Conditions, http://www.sample-project.eu/), we can compute reliable direct estimates that can be compared to small area estimates computed under the M-quantile approach. Results show that the M-quantile small area estimates are comparable in terms of efficiency and precision to direct estimates using oversample data. Moreover, considering the oversample estimates as a benchmark, we show how direct estimates computed without the oversample have larger errors as well as larger estimated mean squared errors than corresponding M-quantile estimates.
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