From Guesstimates to GPStimates Land Area Measurement and Implications for Agricultural Analysis

Policy Research Working Paper 6550, 2013

Posted: 9 Jan 2019

See all articles by Paul Winters

Paul Winters

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Calogero Carletto

World Bank; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Sydney Gourlay

World Bank - Development Data Group

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2013

Abstract

Land area measurement is a fundamental component of agricultural statistics and analysis. Yet, commonly employed self-reported land area measures used in most analysis are not only potentially measured with error, but these errors may be correlated with agricultural outcomes. Measures employing Global Positioning Systems, on the other hand, while not perfect especially on smaller plots, are likely to provide more precise measures and errors less correlated with agricultural outcomes. This paper uses data from four African countries to compare the use of self-reported and Global Positioning Systems land measures to (1) examine the differences between the measures, (2) identify the sources of the differences, and (3) assess the implications of the different measures on agricultural analysis focusing on the inverse productivity relationship. The results indicate that self-reported land areas systematically differ from Global Positioning Systems land measures and that this difference leads to potentially biased estimates of the relationship between land and productivity.

Suggested Citation

Winters, Paul and Carletto, Calogero and Gourlay, Sydney, From Guesstimates to GPStimates Land Area Measurement and Implications for Agricultural Analysis (July 2013). Policy Research Working Paper 6550, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3307414

Paul Winters (Contact Author)

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) ( email )

Via Paolo di Dono
Rome, 00142
Italy

Calogero Carletto

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Sydney Gourlay

World Bank - Development Data Group ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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