Data-driven 4IR skills development

Become The Master Of Applying Spatial Regression Models

The application of a spatial regression model to the analysis and mapping poverty
By Alessandra Petrucci, Nicola Salvati, Chiara Seghieri
University of Florence

Poverty mapping in developing countries has become an important tool in identifying ways to improve living standards. The methods used to generate poverty maps have come under closer scrutiny as their policy implications become more apparent. Those most commonly used until now have used econometric models to generate local indicators of poverty.

Most of these econometric models do not take into account the spatial dependence that may exist in human societies with regard to income distribution. For example, poor households are more likely to be close to other poor households than they are to be close to higher income households.

In this report, the authors use spatial regression to model more accurately the distribution of poverty across regions in Ecuador. The difference between results that are adjusted for spatial patterns and the unadjusted results is statistically significant. Although the absolute differences are not dramatic, they do provide policy planners with greater confidence that the results reflect the real situation in that country.

Although the geographic focus of this paper is on Ecuador, its main contribution is methodological, mainly the comparison of results from models that apply spatial regression techniques with those that do not.

FAO is grateful to the Government of Norway for its support to this work.

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Edzai Conilias Zvobwo is passionate about empowering Africans through mathematics, problem-solving techniques and media. As such, he founded MathsGee. Through this organisation, he has helped create an ecosystem for disseminating information, training, and supporting STEM education to all African people. A maths evangelist who teaches mathematical thinking as a life skill, Edzai’s quest has seen him being named the SABC Ambassador for STEM; he has been invited to address Fortune 500 C-suite executives at the Mobile 360 North America; was nominated to represent Southern Africa at the inaugural United Nations Youth Skills Day in New York; was invited to be a contributor to the World Bank Group Youth Summit in 2016; has won the 2014 SADC Protocol on Gender and Development award for his contribution to women’s empowerment in education; and has partnered with local and global firms in STEM interventions.

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