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Measuring performance: does the assessment depend on the poverty proxy?

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  • Geranda Notten

Abstract

Poverty indicators often disagree about whether a person is poor or not. Yet, when it comes to assessing whether a program is successful in reaching the poor the dominant practice is to use an income poverty indicator. This paper investigates whether the choice of welfare indicator influences the pro-poorness assessment of an intervention. Using the official European Union income and material deprivation indicators, this paper compares the outcomes of four performance indicators for three types of income transfers in six high income European countries namely Germany, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. This study finds that the dominant practice of using an income indicator systematically underestimates the performance of income transfers; when the information from both indicators is combined programs are assessed as far more successful.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp in its series ImPRovE Working Papers with number 13/13.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hdl:improv:1313

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Keywords: performance measurement; poverty; income; material deprivation; income transfers; European Union; EU-SILC; targetting;

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  1. Irwin Garfinkel & Lee Rainwater & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2006. "A re-examination of welfare states and inequality in rich nations: How in-kind transfers and indirect taxes change the story," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 897-919.
  2. Andrea Brandolini & Silvia Magri & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2010. "Asset-based measurement of poverty," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 267-284.
  3. repec:ese:iserwp:2010-37 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Paulus, Alari & Sutherland, Holly & Tsakloglou, Panos, 2009. "The Distributional Impact of In Kind Public Benefits in European Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 4581, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Maria Cancian & Daniel R. Meyer, 2004. "Alternative measures of economic success among TANF participants: Avoiding poverty, hardship, and dependence on public assistance," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 531-548.
  6. Bourguignon, F. & Chakravarty, S.R., 1998. "The Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty," DELTA Working Papers 98-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  7. James X. Sullivan & Lesley Turner & Sheldon Danziger, 2008. "The relationship between income and material hardship," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 63-81.
  8. David Coady & Margaret Grosh & John Hoddinott, 2004. "Targeting of Transfers in Developing Countries : Review of Lessons and Experience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14902, August.
  9. Nolan, Brian & Whelan, Christopher T., 2011. "Poverty and Deprivation in Europe," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199588435, Octomber.
  10. Wu, Chi-Fang & Eamon, Mary Keegan, 2010. "Does receipt of public benefits reduce material hardship in low-income families with children?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1262-1270, October.
  11. repec:ese:emodwp:em8-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Zilanawala, Afshin & Pilkauskas, Natasha V., 2012. "Material hardship and child socioemotional behaviors: Differences by types of hardship, timing, and duration," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 814-825.
  13. Nolan, Brian & Whelan, Christopher T., 1996. "Resources, Deprivation, and Poverty," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287858, Octomber.
  14. Koen Decancq & Tim Goedemé & Karel Van den Bosch & Josefine Vanhille, 2013. "The Evolution of Poverty in the European Union: Concepts, Measurement and Data," ImPRovE Working Papers 13/01, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  15. FUSCO Alessio & GUIO Anne-Catherine & MARLIER Eric, 2011. "Income poverty and material deprivation in European countries," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2011-04, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  16. Robert Breunig & Rebecca McKibbin, 2011. "The effect of survey design on household reporting of financial difficulty," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 174(4), pages 991-1005, October.
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