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Fuzzy Targeting Indices and Orderings


  • Paul Makdissi
  • Quentin Wodon


The targeting efficiency and the coverage of social programs for the poor are typically analyzed by partitioning the total population in four mutually exclusive groups: the poor who benefit from a program or policy, the poor who do not benefit, the non-poor who benefit, and the non-poor who do not benefit. While useful, this partition into crisp sets may not capture the difficulty of identifying the poor. This paper presents a method that consists of using a membership function to identify to what extent households can be considered as poor or non-poor. The method builds on fuzzy sets theory whereby the definition of the boundaries of a set, say the poor or the non-poor, is fuzzy. We characterize the properties that membership functions should have, and we test for the robustness of targeting performance comparisons to the choice of the membership function. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd and the Board of Trustees of the Bulletin of Economic Research, 2004.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Makdissi & Quentin Wodon, 2004. "Fuzzy Targeting Indices and Orderings," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 41-51, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:buecrs:v:56:y:2004:i:1:p:41-51

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Caballero, Ricardo J., 1990. "Consumption puzzles and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 113-136, January.
    2. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2003. "Consumption--Savings Decisions with Quasi--Geometric Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 365-375, January.
    3. Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith, Anthony Jr., 2002. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-geometric Discounting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 42-72, July.
    4. Erzo G. J. Luttmer & Thomas Mariotti, 2003. "Subjective Discounting in an Exchange Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 959-989, October.
    5. Harris, Christopher & Laibson, David, 2001. "Dynamic Choices of Hyperbolic Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 935-957, July.
    6. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Ramsey Meets Laibson in the Neoclassical Growth Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1125-1152.
    7. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pene Kalulumia & Denis Bolduc, 2004. "Generalized Mixed Estimation Of A Multinomial Discretecontinuous Choice Model For Electricity Demand," Cahiers de recherche 04-01, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    2. Pene Kalulumia, 2002. "Effects of government debt on interest rates: evidence from causality tests in johansen-type models," Cahiers de recherche 02-07, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    3. Kojo Appiah-Kubi & Edward Amanning-Ampomah & Christian Ahortor, 2007. "Multi-Dimensional Analysis of Poverty in Ghana Using Fuzzy Sets Theory," Working Papers PMMA 2007-21, PEP-PMMA.
    4. Petr Hanel, 2003. "Impact Of Government Support Programs On Innovation By Canadian Manufacturing Firms," Cahiers de recherche 04-02, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    5. BILOA ESSIMI Jean Aristide, BEJA & CHAMENI NEMBUA Célestin, CNC & MIAMO WENDJI Clovis, MWC, 2012. "A subgroup decomposition of inequality of poverty in Cameroon," MPRA Paper 38141, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty


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