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Poverty alleviation through geographic targeting: How much does disaggregation help?

  • Elbers, Chris
  • Fujii, Tomoki
  • Lanjouw, Peter
  • Ozler, Berk
  • Yin, Wesley

Using recently completed"poverty maps"for Cambodia, Ecuador, and Madagascar, the authors simulate the impact on poverty of transferring an exogenously given budget to geographically defined subgroups of the population according to their relative poverty status. They find large gains from targeting smaller administrative units, such as districts or villages. But these gains are still far from the poverty reduction that would be possible had the planners had access to information on household level income or consumption. The results suggest that a useful way forward might be to combine fine geographic targeting using a poverty map with within-community targeting mechanisms.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 83 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 198-213

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:83:y:2007:i:1:p:198-213
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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  1. Chris Elbers & Jean O. Lanjouw & Peter Lanjouw, 2003. "Micro--Level Estimation of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 355-364, January.
  2. Demombynes, Gabriel & Elbers, Chris & Lanjouw, Jenny & Lanjouw, Peter & Mistiaen, Johan & Ozler, Berk, 2002. "Producing an Improved Geographic Profile of Poverty: Methodology and Evidence from Three Developing Countries," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  3. Elbers, Chris & Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2002. "Micro-level estimation of welfare," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2911, The World Bank.
  4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  5. Indraneel Dasgupta & Ravi Kanbur, 2005. "Community and anti-poverty targeting," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 281-302, December.
  6. Morley, Samuel & David Coady, 2003. "From Social Assistance to Social Development: Targeted Education Subsidies in Developing Countries," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number cgd376.
  7. Gelbach Jonah B. & Pritchett Lant, 2002. "Is More for the Poor Less for the Poor? The Politics of Means-Tested Targeting," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-28, July.
  8. Campante, Felipe R. & Ferreira, Francisco G.H., 2004. "Inefficient lobbying, populism and oligarchy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3240, The World Bank.
  9. Elbers, Chris & Lanjouw, Peter F. & Mistiaen, Johan & Ozler, Berk & Simler, Ken, 2004. "On the unequal inequality of poor communities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3313, The World Bank.
  10. Baker, Judy L. & Grosh, Margaret E., 1994. "Poverty reduction through geographic targeting: How well does it work?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 983-995, July.
  11. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Makdissi, Paul & Wodon, Quentin, 2003. "Poverty-Efficient Transfer Programs: The Role of Targeting and Allocation Rules," Cahiers de recherche 0305, CIRPEE.
  12. Hentschel, Jesko, et al, 2000. "Combining Census and Survey Data to Trace the Spatial Dimensions of Poverty: A Case Study of Ecuador," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 147-65, January.
  13. Glewwe, Paul, 1992. "Targeting assistance to the poor : Efficient allocation of transfers when household income is not observed," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 297-321, April.
  14. Fujii, Tomoki, 2004. "Commune-Level Estimation of Poverty Measures and its Application in Cambodia," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  15. Hentschel, J. & Lanjouw, P., 1996. "Constructing an Indicator of Consumption for the Analysis of Poverty. Principles and Illustrations with Reference to Ecuador," Papers 127, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
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