Social scientists have developed numerous asset-based wealth indices to assess and target socioeconomic inequalities globally. However, there are no systematic studies of the relative performance of these different measures as proxies for socioeconomic position. In this study, we compare how five asset-based wealth indices—the International Wealth Index (IWI), the Standard of Living portion of the Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI-SL), the Poverty Probability Index (PPI), the Absolute Wealth Estimate (AWE), and the DHS Wealth Index (DHS)—predict benchmarks of socioeconomic position across 11 communities in rural Bangladesh. All indices were highly correlated. The IWI best explained variation in individual and community ranking of economic well-being, while the PPI best explained variation both between and within communities for total household wealth and a general measure of subjective social status.
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