Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Does more for the poor mean less for the poor? The politics of tagging

Contents:

Author Info

  • Gelbach, Jonah B.
  • Pritchett, Lant H.

Abstract

Proposals aimed at improving the welfare of the poor often include indicator targeting, in which non-income characteristics (such as race, gender, or land ownership) that are correlated with income are used to target limited funds to groups likely to include a cincentration of the poor. Previous work shows that efficient use of a fixed budget for poverty reduction requires such targeting, either because agents'income cannot be observed or to reduce distortionary incentives arising from redistributive interventions. Inspite of this, the authors question the political viability of targeting. After constructing a model that is basically an extension of Akerlof's 1978 model of"tagging", they derive three main results: 1) Akerlof's result continues to hold: that, ignoring political considerations, not only will targeting be desirable but recipients of the targeted transfer will receive a greater total transfer than they would if targeting were not possible. 2) A classical social-choice analysis-in which agents vote simultaneously about the level of taxation and the degree of targeting-shows that positive levels of targeted transfers will not exist in equilibrium (an unsurprising finding, given Plott's 1968 theorem). It also shows that a voting equilibrium often will exist with no targeting but with non-zero taxation and redistribution. 3) In a game in which the policymaker chooses the degree of targeting while voters choose the level of taxation, the redistributive efficiency gains from tagging may well fail to outweigh the resulting reduction in funds available for redistribution. These results may be extended readily to account for altruistic agents. The authors stress that even when these results hold, the alternative to targeted transfers - a universally received lump-sum grant financed through a proportional tax - will nonetheless be supported politically and will be quite progressive relative to the pretransfer income distribution.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1995/10/01/000009265_3961019152812/Rendered/PDF/multi0page.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1523.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 31 Oct 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1523

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Email:
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Economic Theory&Research; Services&Transfers to Poor; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Environmental Economics&Policies; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis; Services&Transfers to Poor; Rural Poverty Reduction; Environmental Economics&Policies; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Safety Nets and Transfers;

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Douglas Marcouiller, 1995. "Putting in politics: A review of economic models with endogenous determination of policy," Forum for Social Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 37-51, September.
  2. Takeshi Daimon, 2001. "The Spatial Dimension of Welfare and Poverty: Lessons from a Regional Targeting Program in Indonesia," Working Papers EMS_2001_04, Research Institute, International University of Japan.
  3. Dev, S. Mahendra & Ravi, C. & Viswanathan, Brinda & Gulati, Ashok & Ramachander, Sangamitra, 2004. "Economic liberalisation targeted programmes and household food security," MTID discussion papers 68, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. van de Walle, Dominique, 1998. "Targeting Revisited," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 231-48, August.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1523. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.