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Geographic inequity in a decentralized anti-poverty program : a case study of China

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  • Ravallion, Martin

Abstract

The central governments of many developing countries have chosen to decentralize their anti-poverty programs, in the expectation that local agents are better informed about local needs. The paper shows that this potential advantage of decentralized eligibility criteria can come at a large cost, to the extent that the induced geographic inequities undermine performance in reaching the income- poor nationally. These issues are studied empirically for (probably) the largest transfer-based poverty program in the world, namely China's Di Bao program,which aims to assure a minimum income through means-tested transfers. Poor municipalities are found to adopt systematically lower eligibility thresholds, reducing the program's ability to reach poor areas, and generating considerable horizontal inequity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4303.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4303

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Related research

Keywords: Inequality; Services&Transfers to Poor; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis; Economic Theory&Research;

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Cited by:
  1. Robert T. Jensen & Nolan H. Miller, 2010. "Do Consumer Price Subsidies Really Improve Nutrition?," NBER Working Papers 16102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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