Stories from CPHS Wave 22 (January-April 2021)

by Preetha Joseph

We conducted a webinar on the most recently completed round of the world’s largest household panel survey, the Consumer Pyramids Household Survey. Kaushik Krishnan, Chief Economist and Mahesh Vyas, MD and CEO of CMIE talked about Wave 22 of the Consumer Pyramids Households Survey on Thursday, June 10 2021 to a live audience through both Zoom and YouTube on June 10, 2021. Over 350 unique viewers joined us for the presentation across both platforms.

The video is now available on YouTube for anyone to watch.

What was presented?

Wave 22 of the Consumer Pyramids Household Survey was conducted from January 1, 2021 to April 30, 2021. Record-level data from Wave 22 was made available to subscribers on May 1, 2021. We discussed 3 stories about the data and 3 stories from the data of Wave 22.

  1. Stories about the data of Wave 22
    1. A larger sample: CPHS now has a household sample of over 176,000 households across the country. This is over 2,000 households higher than the sample size in Wave 21. We plan to continue to expand the CPHS sample in the ongoing Wave 23.
    2. A higher response rate: The response rate in Wave 22 was 73.44 percent. This is the highest it has been since the Covid-19 pandemic began. This also coincides with an increase in face-to-face interviews. 97.59 percent of all interviews in Wave 22 were conducted in person. Of the 26.66 percent of households that did not respond in Wave 22, the majority of them were not visited due to logistical and operational constraints. Household refusal to participate continues to remain low at just 1.46 percent.
    3. Well balanced survey execution: Accompanying the increased response rate, Wave 22 was a well balanced survey. We maintained our desired rural-urban balance and did well against the state-wise balance dictated by the survey. We have also checked for balance in terms of covering various income-, occupation- and education-groups in the survey. Though the survey design does not explicitly require balance among these groups, a well executed survey that claims to be representative of India, should do so. Comfortingly, we find that CPHS has maintained balance on all these groups in Wave 22.
  2. Stories from the data of Wave 22
    1. Depressed incomes: We showed evidence that while incomes have risen since the pandemic, the average monthly income for January 2021 for India households was still lower in nominal terms than its equivalent amount in January 2019.
    2. Weak consumer demand: We demonstrated that the increase in consumer demand that was seen shortly after the first lockdowns were lifted was short-lived. Consumer demand for durables has fallen across the board and continues to remain weak.
    3. Where you work matters: Looking at those people employed in companies, we show that the group that actually worked in an office was shielded from the lockdowns whereas the group that worked in non-office settings like factories or warehouses, suffered a decline in employment. Equally, agricultural employment increased to record levels and stays high despite the fact that the Jan-Apr wave of CPHS usually records lower levels of employment for farm-work.

Webinar Q&A

The presentation was followed by a live question and answer session. Over 150 questions were asked by the audience, with the bulk of them being answered during the session. We have compiled and answered all of them here:

  1. Stories From Wave 22: Survey Design Q&A
  2. Stories From Wave 22: Survey Execution Q&A

Many of the questions asked were whether particular research ideas were feasible. Almost all of the questions from the audience are possible to explore with the unit-level data that is available in CPdx! We summarise those ideas in Stories From Wave 22: Research Ideas.

Still more questions were asked about whether particular indicators were captured in the survey. Almost all of the indicators that the audience asked about are available in CPdx! We summarise our answers to these questions in Storied From Wave 22: Data Availability

Finally, we received some questions from the audience on comparing CPHS data to other data sources such as NSS data on consumption expenditure. We are in the process of preparing this documentation and will release it to subscribers shortly.

Resources from the webinar

You can view a recording of the talk on YouTube at any time. The PDF version of the slideshow is attached to the bottom of this webpage.

All the data used in preparing the stories about Wave 22 execution in this webinar can be accessed through our new online dashboard on real-time response-rates and statistics on survey execution. We have already started using this data to write detailed pieces on survey performance:

  1. Uniform response rates across occupation groups
  2. Skew in response rates by household incomes repaired
  3. Regional balance during disruptive times
  4. Wave 22 delivers more data in spite of lockdowns

All the data used preparing the stories from Wave 22 come from Consumer Pyramids dx, which can be subscribed to by anyone, anywhere in the world.


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