This paper was commissioned for Inclusion in Asset Building: Research and Policy Symposium, an event hosted in September 2000 by the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis. The paper identifies and explores the use of an asset-based metric of welfare. The metric relies on assets data that are easy to collect and analyze. The authors demonstrate that the asset index functions well in identifying and profiling the poor, in targeting transfers, and even in estimating demand or production functions for outcomes that are useful for designing programs and policy.
Sahn, D., & Stifel, D. (2000). Assets as a measure of household welfare in developing countries (CSD Working Paper No. 00-11). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.