Living Standards Measurement Survey 2004 (Wave 3 Panel)
Living Standards Measurement Study [hh/lsms]
This is the third Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS) conducted in Albania and panel with the 2002 and 2003 LSMS surveys which were conducted for the first and second time respectively.
Over the past decade, Albania has been undergoing a transition toward a market economy and a more open society. It has faced severe internal and external challenges, such as lack of basic infrastructure, rapid collapse of output and inflation rise after the collapse of the communist regime, turmoil during the 1997 pyramid crisis, and social and economic instability because of the 1999 Kosovo crisis. Despite these shocks, Albanian economy has recovered from a very low income level through a sustained growth during the past few years, even though it remains one of the poorest countries in Europe, with GDP per capita at around 1,300$. Based on the Living Standard Measurement Study (LSMS) 2002 survey data (wave 1, henceforth), for the first time in Albania INSTAT has computed an absolute poverty line on a nationally representative poverty survey at household level. Based on this welfare measure, one quarter (25.4 percent) of the Albanian population, or close to 790,000 individuals, were defined as poor in 2002. The distribution of poverty is also disproportionately rural, as 68 percent of the poor are in rural areas, against 32 percent in urban areas (as compared to a total urban population well over 40 percent). These estimates are quite sensitive to the choice of the poverty line, as there are a large number of households clustered around the poverty line. Income related poverty is compounded by the severe lack of access to basic infrastructure, education and health services, clean water, etc., and the ability of the Government to address these issues is complicated by high levels of internal and external migration that are not well understood. The availability of a nationally representative survey is crucial as the paucity of household-level information has been a constraining factor in the design, implementation and evaluation of economic and social programs in Albania. Two recent surveys carried out by the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) -the 1998 Living Conditions Survey (LCS) and the 2000 Household Budget Survey (HBS) - drew attention, once again, to the need for accurately measuring household welfare according to well-accepted standards, and for monitoring these trends on a regular basis. This target is well-achieved by drawing information over time on a panel component of LSMS 2002 households, namely the Albanian Panel Survey (APS), conducted in 2003 and 2004. An increasing attention to the policies aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is paid by the National Parliament of Albania, recently witnessed by the resolution approved in July 2003, where it pushes “… the total commitment of both state structures and civil society to achieve the MDGs in Albania by 2015”. The path towards a sustained growth is constantly monitored through the National Reports on Progress toward Achieving the MDGs, which involves a close collaboration of the UN with the national institutions, led by the National Strategy for Social and Economic Development (NSSED) Department of the Ministry of Finance. Also, in the process leading to the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP; also known in Albania as Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy, GPRS), the Government of Albania reinforced its commitment to strengthening its own capacity to collect and analyse on a regular basis information it needs to inform policy-makers. In its first phase (2001-2006), this monitoring system will include the following data collection instruments:
(i) Population and Housing Census
(ii) Living Standards Measurement Surveys every 3 years
(iii) Annual panel surveys.
The focus during this first phase of the monitoring system is on a periodic LSMS (in 2002 and 2005), followed by panel surveys on a sub-sample of LSMS households (APS 2003, 2004 and 2006), drawing heavily on the 2001 census information. Here our target is to illustrate the main characteristics of the APS 2004 data with reference to the LSMS. The survey work was undertaken by the Living Standards Unit of INSTAT, with the technical assistance of the World Bank.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
The Wave 2 questionnaire contained the following modules:
Module 1: Original and split-off households
Module 2: Dwelling
Module 3: Original and new members
Module 4: Details of internet and mobile phone use.
Module 5: Health
Module 6: Labour
Module 7: Migration
Module 8: Agriculture
Module 9: Income source
Module 10: Subjective poverty
Module 11: Household interview outcome
Module 12: Social assistance
Migration & Remittances
Access to Finance
Agriculture & Rural Development
Food (production, crisis)
Producers and sponsors
Institute of Statistics of Albania
The World Bank
Institute for Social and Economic Research
University of Essex
(a) SAMPLE DESIGN
Panel sample, with LSMS 2002 and 2004 The APS 2004 collects information on 1,797 valid observations at household level and 7,476 at individual level. The sample of the second and third waves of the panel (APS) has been selected from the LSMS 2002 in order to be representative of Albanian households and individuals at national level. The LSMS 2002 differs from the APS 2003 and 2004 in that the former is designed to be representative at regional level (Mountain, Central, Coastal and Tirana) as well as for urban and rural domains, while the latter are for last domains only (urban and rural) LSMS 2002 sample design The LSMS is based on a probability sample of housing units (HUs) within the 16 strata of the sampling frame. It is divided in three regions: Coastal, Central, and Mountain Area. In addition, urban areas of Tirana are also considered as a separate region/stratum. The three regions are further stratified in major cities (the most important cities in the region), other urban (other cities in the region), and rural. The city of Tirana and its suburbs have been implicitly stratified to improve the efficiency of the sample design. Each stratum has been divided in Enumeration Area (EA), in accordance with the 2001 Census data, and each Primary Sampling Unit (PSU) selected with probabilities proportional to the number of occupied HUs in the EA. Every EA includes occupied and unoccupied HUs. Occupied rather than total units have been used because of the large number of empty dwellings registered in the Census data. The Housing Unit, defined as the space occupied by one household, is taken as sampling unit because is more permanent and easier to identify compared to the household. 10 EAs for each major city (75 for Tirana) and 65 EAs for each rural region -with the exception of the mountain area which is over-represented (75 EAs)- are selected. 8 households, plus 4 eventual substitutes, have been systematically selected in each EAs. As the LSMS consists of 450 EAs, total sample size is 3,600 households.
The panel component selected from the LSMS is designed to provide a nationally representative sample of households and individuals within Albania. It consists of roughly half of the households in the 2002 LSMS, interviewed both in 2003 and 2004. Contrarily to what done for the LSMS, no over-sampling in the Mountain Area has been performed for the panel survey. The sample is designed to minimize the variability in households' selection probabilities. It ensures national representativeness by matching the sample distribution across strata with the population distribution drawn from 2001 Census data. In Table 3 the ex-ante sampling scheme of the 2003-2004 APS is shown. Compared to the LSMS design, statistical precision has improved. Under equal stratum population variances hypothesis, sample design effects are expected to be around 1.02, compared to the 1.28 of the LSMS sample. Moreover, further precision is obtained by keeping all 450 EAs of LSMS in the panel sample, thus reducing the eventual bias due to clustering because of new design. Finally, the panel survey has a number of peculiar features that should be considered when using the data. The sample is designed to focus on individuals, who have been also traced when moving from the original household to a new one. This possibility represents the only way a household can enter the panel sample if it has not been already interviewed in the wave 1 (or in wave 2 for the APS 2004). If an original survey member (OSM) moves to a new household, his/her old and new household -and their members- are both included in the panel sample. Though a moved OSM will be present in the roster of both sampled households, he/she is a valid member only in the new one. In the old household he/she is considered as "moved away", hence not a valid member. This might generate some confusion. Three modalities exist to classify an individual in the third wave. First, when he/she is an OSM, that is a respondent interviewed both in wave 1 and 2. Second, when he is a re-joiner from 2002, that is an OSM not interviewed in 2003 (i.e. because temporarily absent) who returns in 2004. Third, when he/she is a new member, whenever he/she is a newborn of an original household, a member joined by an OSM or a person who co-resides with an original survey household. So, the APS is an indefinite life panel study, without replacement by drawing new sample units. From wave 2, only individuals aged 15 years and over are considered valid members, hence eligible for the interview. Individuals moved out of Albania are not accounted as valid for this survey year, though they are still eligible for future waves.
The sample is not self-weighted, hence, to obtain correct estimates data need to be weighted. The weights, at household level, are included in the dataset ("weights" file). When working at individual level, household weights must be multiplied by household size.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
A first data cleaning took place in Albania and implemented by INSTAT in collaboration with ISER and Government of Albania consultants. The cleaning process has involved following activities: 1. defining data checking routines and writing the syntax code of the cleaning programs; 2. generating lists of outliers and inconsistencies for each module to be checked against paper questionnaires; During the first few days, data cleaning operators have been working on the Export Procedure of the Data Entry Program to check if data export succeeded and to finalize the English version of the dictionaries and error messages. Some changes were made to the Export Procedure due to a problem on the “Agriculturea2” file conversion and to the dictionary structure to check over correct labelling of exported data. The dictionary used during data entry was in Albanian language. So, an accurate comparison of the Albanian and English versions was done to ensure consistency (except for the labelling) between the two. This work was performed by using a freeware software called “Winmerge”, which underlines all the differences between two text files. Phase two has been devoted to update the Batch Edit (BE) procedure of the Data Entry Program, where a little correction was required to avoid some error messages incorrectly issued by the BE. Afterwards, the routine was applied to check all the errors, and a program in Access was run to associate PSU and Data-entry operator code to each questionnaire selected by the BE. Once obtained the procedure report, a pool of four people from INSTAT started to check all the reported errors and make the necessary adjustments. A copy of all original data in CSPRO software was made. During this work, some atypical circumstances were reported: sometimes errors or warning detected possible data-entry or interviewer problems. For these cases, no correction was made, and the occurrence was highlighted in the report. Most of the problems reported by the BE were referred to the “distance that seemed to be inconsistent with the walking time” and “number of hours worked per week” higher than 70.
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1. The data are supplied solely for the use described in this form and will not be made available to other organizations or individuals. Other organizations or individuals may request the data directly.
2. Three copies of all publications, conference papers, or other research reports based entirely or in part upon the requested data will be supplied to:
Living Condition Sector Rr. Lek Dukagjini,
3. The researcher will refer to the 2003 Albania Living Standards Measurement Survey as the source of the information in all publications, conference papers, and manuscripts. At the same time, the World Bank is not responsable for the estimations reported by the analyst(s).
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Example: Institute of Statistics of Albania. Albania Living Standards Measurement Survey 2004. Ref. ALB_2004_LSMS_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from [website/source] on [date].
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