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Who is vouching for the input voucher ? decentralized targeting and elite capture in Tanzania

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  • Pan, Lei
  • Christiaensen, Luc

Abstract

Input subsidy programs carry support as instruments to increase agricultural productivity, provided they are market-smart. This requires especially proper targeting to contain the fiscal pressure, with decentralized targeting of input vouchers currently the instrument of choice. Nonetheless, despite clear advantages in administrative costs, the fear of elite capture persists. These fears are borne out in the experience from the 2008 input voucher pilot program in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, examined here. Elected village officials received about 60 percent of the distributed vouchers, a factor that significantly reduced the targeting performance of the program, especially in more unequal and remote communities. When targeting the poor, greater coverage and a focus on high trust settings helped mitigate these concerns. The findings highlight the continuing need for scrutiny when relying on decentralized targeting. A clearer sense of purpose (increasing productivity among poorer farmers versus increasing aggregate output) could also enhance the targeting performance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5651.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5651

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Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction; Economic Theory&Research; Housing&Human Habitats; Services&Transfers to Poor; Regional Economic Development;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Liverpool-Tasie, Lenis Saweda O., 2014. "Farmer groups and input access: When membership is not enough," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 37-49.
  2. Mason, Nicole M. & Jayne, T.S. & Walle, Nicolas van de, 2013. "Fertilizer Subsidies and Voting Patterns: Political Economy Dimensions of Input Subsidy Programs," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149580, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  3. Mason, Nicole M. & Jayne, T.S. & Mofya-Mukuka, Rhoda, 2013. "A Review of Zambia’s Agricultural Input Subsidy Programs: Targeting, Impacts, and the Way Forward," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 162438, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  4. Tasso Adamopoulos & Diego Restuccia, 2011. "The Size Distribution of Farms and International Productivity Differences," Working Papers tecipa-441, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  5. Azam Chaudhry & Kate Vyborny, 2013. "Patronage in Rural Punjab: Evidence from a New Household Survey Dataset," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 18(Special E), pages 183-209, September.
  6. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Khemani, Stuti & Walton, Michael, 2011. "Civil society, public action and accountability in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5733, The World Bank.
  7. Schüring, Esther, 2014. "Preferences for Community-based Targeting - Field Experimental Evidence from Zambia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 360-373.
  8. Takeshima, Hiroyuki & Nkonya, Ephraim M. & Deb, Sayon, 2012. "Impact of fertilizer subsidies on the commercial fertilizer sector in Nigeria:: Evidence from previous fertilizer subsidy schemes," NSSP working papers 23, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  9. Smale, Melinda & Mason, Nicole M., 2013. "Hybrid Seed, Income, and Inequality among Smallholder Maize Farmers in Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 146929, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  10. Christiaensen , Luc & Pan, Lei, 2012. "On the fungibility of spending and earnings -- evidence from rural China and Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6298, The World Bank.
  11. Dethier, Jean-Jacques & Effenberger, Alexandra, 2012. "Agriculture and development: A brief review of the literature," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 175-205.

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