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Efficiency, Equity and Poverty Alleviation: Policy Issues in Less Developed Countries

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  • Bardhan, Pranab

Abstract

In this paper we start by noting that policies that help growth by improving allocational efficiency may also help the poor. We then go on to consider cases where in view of serious agency costs and coordination problems (particularly involving processes in credit and insurance markets) there may be a great deal of scope for trying redistributive projects which at the same time enhance productive efficiency, contrary to the message of efficiency-equity trade-off central to mainstream policy economics. In this context we discuss the efficiency effects of asset distribution programs like land reform. We then examine the merits and costs of targeting transfers aimed at improving their cost-effectiveness, including issues of self-selection by the poor and of targeting disadvantaged groups and backward areas. Finally, we discuss governance structures and focus on the role of.self-governing institutions at the local level in improving efficiency and equity in poverty alleviation.
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Suggested Citation

  • Bardhan, Pranab, 1996. "Efficiency, Equity and Poverty Alleviation: Policy Issues in Less Developed Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1344-1356, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:106:y:1996:i:438:p:1344-56
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    2. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-298, April.
    3. Hoff, Karla & Lyon, Andrew B., 1995. "Non-leaky buckets: Optimal redistributive taxation and agency costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 365-390, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Muller, Christophe, 2002. "Prices and living standards: evidence for Rwanda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 187-203, June.
    2. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 1998. "Expenditure Decentralization and the Delivery of Public Services in Developing Countries," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233623, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
    3. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Deon Filmer, 2016. "Incentivizing Schooling for Learning: Evidence on the Impact of Alternative Targeting Approaches," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(2), pages 461-499.
    4. Nafisa Halim & Kathryn M. Yount & Solveig A. Cunningham & Rohini P. Pande, 2016. "Women’s Political Empowerment and Investments in Primary Schooling in India," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 813-851, February.
    5. Roland-Holst, David & Sugiyarto, Guntur, 2014. "Growth Horizons for a Changing Asian Regional Economy," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 392, Asian Development Bank.
    6. Christopher Cramer, 2000. "Inequality, Development and Economic Correctness," Working Papers 105, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
    7. Gruber, Lloyd & Kosack, Stephen, 2014. "The Tertiary Tilt: Education and Inequality in the Developing World," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 253-272.
    8. Krueger, Anne O, 1997. "Trade Policy and Economic Development: How We Learn," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 1-22, March.
    9. Christophe Muller, 2006. "Poverty Simulation And Price Changes," Working Papers. Serie AD 2006-13, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    10. World Bank, 2007. "Arab Republic of Egypt : Poverty Assessment Update, Volume 1. Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7642, The World Bank.
    11. Bhattacharya, Sourav & Kundu, Tapas, 2014. "Resistance, redistribution and investor-friendliness," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 124-142.
    12. Guilherme Berse Rodrigues Lambais & Marcelo Marques De Magalhães & José Maria Ferreira Jardim Da Silveira, 2014. "Land Reform And Technical Efficiency: Panel Data Evidence From Northeastern Brazil," Anais do XL Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 40th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 200, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    13. Gruber, Lloyd & Kosack, Stephen, 2014. "The tertiary tilt: education and inequality in the developing world," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 54202, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Cristia, Julian P., 2009. "Rising mortality and life expectancy differentials by lifetime earnings in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, pages 984-995.
    15. Balisacan, Arsenio M. & Fuwa, Nobuhiko, 2004. "Changes in Spatial Income Inequality in the Philippines: An Exploratory Analysis," WIDER Working Paper Series 034, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    16. Carlos Scartascini & Ernesto H. Stein & Mariano Tommasi, 2008. "Political Institutions, State Capabilities and Public Policy: International Evidence," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1638, Inter-American Development Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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