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Living Standards Measurement Survey 2004 (Wave 3 Panel)
Living Standards Measurement Study
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 analyze 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, and (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]
Units of Analysis
Household roster (Module 1. Original and split-off households)
Names of all household members, relationship to the head, age, marital status and identification of spouse, ethnicity and religion, actual presence in the household over one year period, identification of actual household members as defined in the survey.
Date, reason for leaving, destination for those who permanently moved and information on migration for those who have migrated and permanently left the household.
Dwelling, utilities and durable goods (Module 2)
Part A. Dwelling: type, construction, age, conditions, size, length of residence, number and use of rooms, ownership, rent (potential or actual), availability of services (toilets, garage, etc.).
Part B. Utilities: Access, quality and cost of water, central heating, electricity, other energy and fuel sources, and telephone.
Part C. Durables: Ownership, description, age and value of household durable goods (TV, refrigerator, car, etc.).
Education (Module 3. Original and new members)
Part A. Original members. Attendance, type of school, costs in the past year.
Part B. New entrants. School: Reading ability, school attendance, level and grades completed, highest diploma obtained, school attended (attendance, quality, costs, distance, scholarships), reasons for not attending/enrolling.
Communication (Module 4)
Details of internet and mobile phone use.
Health (Module 5)
Part A. General health status: Occurrence of chronic and sudden illnesses, subjective health assessment, use and cost of health services (including hospitals) and medicines.
Part B. Maternity history: Children born from each woman in the household, and information on their age, residence, sex, schooling.
Labor (Module 6)
Part A. Labor force participation: Current employment status and efforts to find job if unemployed
Part B. Overview last 7 days: Occupation(s) in the last 7 days, and weeks worked in the same occupation(s) over last 12 months.
Part C. Main and secondary job in the last 7 days: workplace, length of current occupation, type of work/employment, social security, earnings and benefits.
Part D. Employment Grid: details of each spell in and out of employment/non-employment over last 12 months.
Migration (Module 7)
Information on whether each household member is originally from the municipality, whether he has moved to and from the municipality, for how long and for what reasons, with particular detail for the period January 1990 to June 2003 and after 1 June 2003. It asks occupation information when moved and distinguishes between moving to other places in Albania and moving abroad.
Agriculture (Module 8)
Part A1. Own plots: Size and quality of own agricultural land, crops planted, method of acquisition and legal title.
Part A2. Rented plots: Size and quality of agricultural land, crops planted, sharecropping.
Part B1 Livestock: Animals owned by type.
Part B2. Access to Land: possibility of access, use of not owned land, owner of the land, amount paid to access the land.
Subjective poverty (Module 10)
Part A. Subjective assessment of: household financial situation in absolute and relative/comparative terms; household ability to meet basic needs; own position on a poverty ladder; overall satisfaction and concerns/prospect about the future.
Part B. Social Capital: membership of a group or network, characteristics and interaction of the group with the others. Trust and solidarity. Collective action and cooperation. Social cohesion and inclusion. Employment and political action.
Household interview outcome (Module 11)
Place of the interview, interview outcome. Interviewer.
Social assistance (Module 12)
Social assistance: Payments received and eligibility to benefits from various sources of social assistance, amount received, reference time of arrears.
Remittances and other income (Module 13)
Part A Remittances. Name of the remitting person, relationship to the household, amount remitted.
Part B. Other income. Rental income, revenue from sale of assets, other income.