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The income lever and the allocation of aid

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  • Ceriani, Lidia
  • Verme, Paolo

Abstract

The paper develops a concept and a measure of the monetary capacity of a country to reduce its own poverty and shows how these tools can be used to guide budget allocations or the allocation of aid. The authors call this concept the income lever. Making use of tax and distributive theory, the paper shows how different redistributive criteria correspond to the different normative criteria of the income lever. It then constructs various income lever indexes based on these criteria and uses such indexes to rank countries according to their own capacity to reduce poverty. As shown in the empirical application, this methodology can provide an equitable tool to rank countries or regions when it comes to budget or aid allocations, whether it is the allocation of social funds within the European Union (North-North transfers) or the allocation of aid from rich to poor countries (North-South transfers). The findings indicate that the allocation of social funds in the European Union follows closely the rank that results from the income lever indexes proposed while the allocation of aid to Sub-Saharan African countries does not.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6367.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6367

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Keywords: Regional Economic Development; Rural Poverty Reduction; Services&Transfers to Poor; Achieving Shared Growth; Economic Conditions and Volatility;

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  1. Andreas Peichl, 2007. "Measuring richness," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2007 06, Stata Users Group.
  2. Stijn Claessens & Danny Cassimon & Bjorn Van Campenhout, 2009. "Evidence on Changes in Aid Allocation Criteria," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 23(2), pages 185-208, June.
  3. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
  4. Chauvet, Lisa, 2003. "Socio-political instability and the allocation of international aid by donors," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/5404, Paris Dauphine University.
  5. Alesina, Alberto & Dollar, David, 2000. " Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 33-63, March.
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  7. Michal Brzezinski, 2010. "Income Affluence in Poland," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 285-299, November.
  8. William Easterly & Ross Levine & David Roodman, 2004. "Aid, Policies, and Growth: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 774-780, June.
  9. John Roemer & Humberto G. Llavador, 2003. "An Equal-Opportunity Approach to the Allocation of International Air," Working Papers 9910, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  10. Peter Nunnenkamp & Rainer Thiele, 2006. "Targeting Aid to the Needy and Deserving: Nothing But Promises?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(9), pages 1177-1201, 09.
  11. Quiggin, John & Mahadevan, Renuka, 2010. "The Poverty Burden: A Measure of the Difficulty of Ending Extreme Poverty," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 151524, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  12. Eisenhauer, Joseph G., 2011. "The rich, the poor, and the middle class: Thresholds and intensity indices," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 294-304, December.
  13. Naudet, Jean-David & Cogneau, Denis, 2007. "Who deserves aid? Equality of opportunity, international aid and poverty reduction," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4461, Paris Dauphine University.
  14. Marcelo Medeiros, 2006. "The Rich and the Poor: The Construction of an Affluence Line from the Poverty Line," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 78(1), pages 1-18, 08.
  15. Hristos Doucouliagos & Martin Paldam, 2005. "Aid Effectiveness on Growth. A Meta Study," Economics Working Papers 2005-13, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  16. David Fielding & George Mavrotas, 2008. "Aid Volatility and Donor-Recipient Characteristics in 'Difficult Partnership Countries'," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(299), pages 481-494, 08.
  17. Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico, 2011. "Multidimensional Affluence: Theory and Applications to Germany and the US," IZA Discussion Papers 5926, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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