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Needs and Targeting

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  • Michael Michael Keen

Abstract

This paper shows that when - in the manner of the recent targeting literature - the resources available for poverty relief are allocated across heterogeneous groups so as to minimize a 'well-behaved' index of aggregate poverty, the optimal response to an increase in the needs of some group may be to reduce the resources allocated to it. Necessary and sufficient conditions for optimally-targeted benefits to be inversely related to needs are established under two polar forms of poverty alleviation strategy (pure contingency and strict means-testing) and the wider methodological implications of this possibility discussed.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_822.pdf
File Function: First version 1991
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 822.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jan 1991
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:822

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Keywords: poverty; social security; needs;

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Cited by:
  1. Murgai, Rinku & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Is a guaranteed living wage a good anti-poverty policy?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3640, The World Bank.
  2. Subramanian, S., 2004. "Indicators of Inequality and Poverty," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  3. Miguel Székely, 1997. "Opciones de políticas para la paliación de la pobreza," Research Department Publications 4063, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  4. Olivier Bargain & Olivier Donni, 2007. "A Theory of Child Targeting," Working Papers 200710, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  5. Chakravarty, Satya R. & Mukherjee, Diganta, 1998. "Optimal subsidy for the poor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 313-319, December.
  6. Miguel Székely, 1997. "Policy Options for Poverty Alleviation," Research Department Publications 4062, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  7. Subramanian, S., 2004. "Social Groups and Economic Poverty: A Problem in Measurement," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  8. Robin BOADWAY & Pierre PESTIEAU, 2006. "Tagging and redistributive taxation," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 83-84, pages 123-147.
  9. Subramanian, S., 2004. "Poverty Measures and Anti-Poverty Policy with an Egalitarian Constraint," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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