A Theory of Child Targeting
AbstractThere is a large empirical literature on policy measures targeted at children but surprisingly very little theoretical foundation to ground the debate on the optimality of the different instruments. In the present paper, we examine the merit of targeting children through two general policies, namely selective commodity taxation and cash transfer to family with children. We consider a household that comprises an adult and a child. The household behavior is described by the maximization of the adult’s utility function, which depends on the child’s welfare, subject to a budget constraint. The relative effects of a price subsidy and of a cash benefit on child welfare are then derived. In particular, it is shown that ‘favorable’ distortions from the price subsidies may allow to redistribute toward the child. The framework is extended to account for possible paternalistic preferences of the State. Finally, it is shown that, in contrast to the traditional view, well-chosen subsidies can be more cost effective than cash transfers in alleviating child poverty.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2669.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Targeting and Child Poverty´' in: Social Choice and Welfare, 2011, [Online First]
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Other versions of this item:
- D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
- H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
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