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Comparative Wealth Index - detailed instructions for computation [message #9023] Wed, 27 January 2016 14:32 Go to previous message
SophiaMV is currently offline  SophiaMV
Messages: 1
Registered: January 2016
I need to calculate the comparative wealth index for a set of more recent DHS surveys. To check that I am doing the correct procedure, I have been trying to replicate the results for the baseline survey Vietnam 2002 from the "Making the DHS Wealth Index comparable" document (
I have been following very closely the methodology outlined in that paper and I have managed to replicate the anchor points for households at the middle and upper end of the economic distribution. However, I struggle to obtain the same figures as outlined in table 2.1 (p. 11, document linked above) for the cutpoints regarding the UBN score. My percentages for Vietnamese households in each UBN score category do not match up with those in table 2.1.
I therefore have a few more detailed questions on how exactly these percentages were calculated:

1.) UBN overcrowded housing: Was hv009 (number of household members) or hv012 (number of de jure members) used to calculate the indicator?
2.) UBN inadequate sanitation:
2.1) Inadequate toilet facilities: In the Vietnam 2002 survey no distinction is made between a pit latrine with or without slab. The only category here is a "traditional pit toilet". Was the traditional pit toilet classified as inadequate sanitation?
2.2.) Inadequate water source:
In urban areas, was "public tap" classified as adequate water source?
3.) UBN economic dependency:
3.1) I used the individual recode file to obtain information on the employment status of women and their husbands. For women I used v714 ("currently working"). However, for their husbands there was only information available on the type of employment and not directly on their current employment status. Is this correct? How would I be able to identify unemployed husbands? Would they show up as missing values for the occupation variable (v704)?
3.2) For quite many households (around 1,500) the number of workers per household members cannot be calculated as there is no information on that given household in the individual recode file. It says in the PDF document that "all households are assumed to have a minimum of one worker". Does this mean that for a household with a missing value, it was assumed that there was only one worker in the household and the number of household members was divided by 1 to obtain the indicator for economic dependency?
3.3) In order for the household to be highly economic dependent, do both criteria (more than three household members per worker AND no working-age adult with completed primary education) have to be satisfied? Or is either one of them enough to assign the household the UBN score in this category?

Sorry for all these questions. Thank you so much for your help!
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