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Globalization and the Role of Public Transfers in Redistributing Income in Latin America and the Caribbean


  • Skoufias, Emmanuel
  • Lindert, Kathy
  • Shapiro, Joseph


Summary This paper focuses on measuring the extent to which publicly subsidized transfers in Latin America and the Caribbean redistribute income. The redistributive power of 56 transfers in eight countries is measured by their simulated impacts on poverty and inequality, and by their distributional characteristic. Our findings suggest that public transfers can be effective instruments to redistribute income to the poor. Despite coverage and distributional patterns that favor the poor, small unit subsidies limit the redistributive, poverty and inequality impacts of even the most targeted social assistance programs.

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  • Skoufias, Emmanuel & Lindert, Kathy & Shapiro, Joseph, 2010. "Globalization and the Role of Public Transfers in Redistributing Income in Latin America and the Caribbean," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 895-907, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:38:y:2010:i:6:p:895-907

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Coady & Margaret Grosh & John Hoddinott, 2004. "Targeting of Transfers in Developing Countries : Review of Lessons and Experience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14902.
    2. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Leite, Phillippe G. & Litchfield, Julie A., 2008. "The Rise And Fall Of Brazilian Inequality: 1981–2004," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(S2), pages 199-230, September.
    3. World Bank, 2003. "Poverty in Guatemala," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14862, The World Bank.
    4. Emmanuel Skoufias & Vincenzo Di Maro, 2008. "Conditional Cash Transfers, Adult Work Incentives, and Poverty," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(7), pages 935-960.
    5. David Coady & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2004. "On the Targeting and Redistributive Efficiencies of Alternative Transfer Instruments," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(1), pages 11-27, March.
    6. Emmanuel Skoufias & David P. Coady, 2007. "Are the Welfare Losses from Imperfect Targeting Important?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 756-776, November.
    7. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101.
    8. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Gonzalez-Cossio, Teresa, 2008. "The Impacts of Cash and In-Kind Transfers on Consumption and Labor Supply: Experimental Evidence from Rural Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4778, The World Bank.
    9. Rofman, Rafael, 2005. "Social security coverage in Latin America," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 32754, The World Bank.
    10. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Akerkar, Supriya & Joshi, P.C. & Fordham, Maureen, 2016. "Cultures of Entitlement and Social Protection: Evidence from Flood Prone Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 46-58.


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