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G people rent only in urban areas). The Ecuador LSMS contains two variables which together provide a large enough sample to impute a value for owner-occupied housing. The first one records rent actually paid by households. The second one is a figure inhabitants estimate they would pay were they to rent the property. The latter variable is obviously only as useful as people have a meaningful idea of what kind of rent they might have to pay. This implies that there must exist a functional rental market and that people are aware of it.

Third, the opportunity cost of water in rural areas, over and above the amount currently being used, must be near or at the price prevailing in the private market. This assumption is motivated by the notion that water has quite different uses: small quantities are necessary for daily consumption and cooking uses, but large quantities are needed for the purpose of bathing, washing, etc. While the rural households don't necessarily have to pay in cash for any of the water they fetch the full price in terms of time and number of persons needed to fetch water in sufficient quantities to fulfill these additional uses can rise very rapidly.

It is easy to construct hypothetical examples where transformations of sub-component expenditures, which leave unaffected the welfare rankings within those components, lead to major re-rankings at the aggregated level. Usually household surveys supply the analyst only with a total nominal expenditure for electricity, making it difficult to ascertain what quantity was actually consumed. However, if the tariff schedule (including fixed connection costs) is known, the researcher can derive actual electricity consumption by calculating threshold levels of consumption which will place the household in a specific marginal tariff bracket.

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