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Begin your research with resources recommended by the economics subject librarian, John Cocklin ( Here you will find the key databases, indexes, datasets, and reference works in economics.

About this research guide

This research guide provides information on the Indian National Sample Survey.

About the NSS

The Indian National Sample Survey (NSS) is one of the oldest continuing household sample surveys in the developing world. The survey is conducted on a regular basis by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO). The NSSO is representative at the level of regions. The NSSO has sometimes changed its data collection methodology midstream, and this has affected the comparability of NSS estimates over time. There is no fixed rotation schedule for the special-interest modules that are attached to the core consumption-employment module of the NSS. These peculiarities can make the data difficult to use.

What can it tell me?

The coverage of the NSS varies over the different rounds. Each round always obtains information on consumption and employment; health, schooling, or disability, in the form of additional modules. Since its inception, the NSS has covered some fifty different subjects in its surveys, such as household debt and investment, literacy and culture, health, schooling, and village-level infrastructure. Poverty and, to a smaller extent, unemployment remain the two top issues that are explored by researchers with the NSS data.

Round 68 focuses on

-- Expenditure on consumption goods and services

-- Imputed value of self-consumed produce of own farm or other hh enterprise

-- Any household expenses reimbursed by employer (medical, electricity, LTC, etc.)

-- Cost of minor repairs of assets & durable goods

-- All compulsory payments to schools and colleges including so-called “donations”

-- Goods and services received as payment in kind or received free from employer (incl. imputed rent of quarters)

-- Payments for medical care reimbursed or directly paid by insurance company

-- Second-hand purchases of clothing, footwear, books, durables