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date: 20 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

A range of international efforts have established definitions on the components of household income. Putting these ideas into practice in Africa poses challenges, partly because many African household income activities are informal and seasonal: in farming and non-farm enterprises. This chapter explores aspects of measuring household income in Africa and reflects on latest recent data. While agriculture continues to be the most important income source for the majority of poor households, diversification into non-farm sources is the norm even in the poorest countries of Africa. Economic development will likely shrink the agricultural sector and shift incomes to more formal, non-farm activities. While the shift will make international statistical income standards more applicable, in the medium run, the range of measurement challenges described here will remain relevant. Understanding the fundamentals of development in Africa and policies that improve economic well-being requires continued investment in the theory and measurement of household income.

Keywords: income, measurement, statistics, household surveys, rural economy, Africa

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