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A curated list of our postings on Measurement and Survey Design

David McKenzie's picture
This list is a companion to our curated list on technical topics. It puts together our posts on issues of measurement, survey design, sampling, survey checks, managing survey teams, reducing attrition, and all the behind-the-scenes work needed to get the data needed for impact evaluations.
Improving the granularity of nightlights satellite data
Mystery clients in development research
New developments with the promises and pitfalls of subjective welfare
Measuring yields from Space
How to track poverty trends without good consumption data
A technology letdown: using RFID to track inventories in microenterprises
Hard measurement of soft skills
How stable are time preferences? Mixed evidence from two new studies
Challenges in counting the world’s hungry
Measuring the rate at which we discount the future: a comparison of new field-based approaches
Three new papers on measuring stuff that is hard to measure (illegal migration, corruption, political attitudes)
Measuring hope
Measuring international mobility through where people log into commonly used websites
Trying to measure what workers actually do: the task approach to job content
Measuring entrepreneurship (Part I, Part II)
Misadventures in photographing impact
What are we learning from better measurement?
Are the Danes the happiest people in the world? Using vignettes to anchor subjective responses
The Hermeneutics of Satisfaction
Job satisfaction matters…and the measurement of job satisfaction matters
Measuring work
We talk a lot about empowerment, but how do we measure it?
What is the good life? Can we measure it?
You are in school. Or so you say…
Measuring consumption (through survey)
Measuring secrets
Survey design
9 pages or 66 pages? Questionnaire design’s impact on poverty proxy measurement
Dialing for data: the story of a high-frequency phone survey in Liberia
Do you agree or disagree? How to ask the question
What is the right way to pick a respondent for a household survey?
Getting to better data: talking to strangers
Getting to better data: do men say yes more often than women?
Notes from the field: collecting gender-disaggregated data in practice
Being indirect sometimes gets closer to the truth: new work on indirect elicitation surveys
Paper or plastic (using CAPI) (Part I, Part II)
When to use insiders or outsiders as survey interviewers
Impacts of being interviewed on subsequent behavior
Calling it in: using phones for repeat surveys
Speak to the computer: the promise and challenges of measuring secrets through computer assisted interviews
Love and secrets
Using sending country surveys as a basis for sampling immigrants: a cautionary tale
Survey checks and Data Accuracy
Checking survey quality with Benford’s law
Using Engel curves to detect underreporting of income among the self-employed
When bad people do good surveys
Surveying in Countries with Too Many Zeroes in their currency
Data corruption and mucked up stratification – problems and potential solutions
Getting to better data: who does the editing?
Economists have experiments figured out: what’s next? (hint it’s measurement) (on self-reporting)
Sifting through data to detect deliberate misreporting in pay-for-performance schemes
Notes from the field: making the most of monitoring data
Robustly wrong? New methods for cleaning survey data on incomes
Managing Survey Teams
Insights from 15 years of fieldwork in Thailand
Notes from the field: setting up a firm survey in Malawi
Notes from the field: how to incentivize your survey team
Reducing Attrition
Three strikes and they are out? Persistence and reducing panel attrition among firms
Help for attrition is only a phone call away: a new bounding approach
They can run, but can they hide? Tracking respondents in longitudinal surveys


Submitted by Saurabh Lall on

Fantastic set of resources! I would love to see some posts on good translations of surveys into local languages for implementation.

Thanks Saurabh,
Can you clarify what sort of post you would like to see: one on how to make sure the translation into local language is done well/discussing this process or one which has links to survey instruments with good translations in different languages? I assume the former, but was unsure.

Submitted by Saurabh Lall on

Thanks David, I do mean the former (how to make sure it's done well/process)

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