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Optimal income support targeting

  • Stefan Wachter

    ()

  • Sebastian Galiani

This paper considers the practical problem of distributing a fixed budget for poverty alleviation to a population whose poverty status is not directly observable. The solution we propose improves on the techniques that are commonly used in practice by taking both the concavity of the social welfare function and the entire conditional distribution of poverty status into account, and by endogenously determining the optimal transfer levels. We provide an algorithm to calculate the optimal transfers for any population of benefit applicants. Finally, we explain how our method is a generalization of statistical classification techniques and thus provide an intuitive discussion of the defects of currently operational methods. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10797-006-6552-z
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 13 (2006)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 661-684

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:13:y:2006:i:6:p:661-684
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

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  1. Andrew Chesher & Christian Schluter, 2001. "Welfare measurement and measurement error," CeMMAP working papers CWP03/01, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael & Tuomala, Matti, 1994. "Labor Supply and Targeting in Poverty Alleviation Programs," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(2), pages 191-211, May.
  3. 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.
  4. Kanbur, R. & Keen, M., 1988. "Poverty, Incentives And Linear Income Taxation," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 298, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Chaudhuri, Shubham & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "How well do static indicators identify the chronically poor?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 367-394, March.
  6. Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley L, 1988. "Economic and Political Foundations of Tax Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 701-12, September.
  7. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  8. Nichols, Albert L & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1982. "Targeting Transfers through Restrictions on Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 372-77, May.
  9. Elbers, Chris & Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2002. "Micro-level estimation of welfare," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2911, The World Bank.
  10. Ravallion, Martin & Chao, Kalvin, 1989. "Targeted policies for poverty alleviation under imperfect information: Algorithms and applications," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 213-224.
  11. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1990. "Regional disparities, targeting, and poverty in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 375, The World Bank.
  12. Ravallion, Martin & Sen, Binayak, 1994. "Impacts on rural poverty of land-based targeting: Further results for Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 823-838, June.
  13. Besley, Timothy J & Kanbur, S M Ravi, 1988. "Food Subsidies and Poverty Alleviation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(392), pages 701-19, September.
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