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Predicting poverty and wealth from mobile phone metadata

from Science

In developing countries, collecting data on basic economic quantities, such as wealth and income, is costly, time-consuming, and unreliable. Taking advantage of the ubiquity of mobile phones in Rwanda, Blumenstock et al. mapped mobile phone metadata inputs to individual phone subscriber wealth. They applied the model to predict wealth throughout Rwanda and show that the predictions matched well with those from detailed boots-on-the-ground surveys of the population. more

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