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The unfairness of (poverty) targets

Author

Listed:
  • Melanie Allwine
  • Jamele Rigolini
  • Luis F. López-Calva

Abstract

The evaluation of policy performance against set targets is rarely adjusted to the heterogeneity in the initial distribution of characteristics. Building on previous literature, we propose a framework to account for differences in initial characteristics in evaluating policy performance. We apply the proposed framework to the appraisal of poverty reduction and show that initial characteristics can considerably affect performance. The framework advances by explicitly quantifying the importance of the non-linearity of the growth elasticity of poverty reduction. Whilst wealthier countries did perform better in reducing poverty during 1995–2008, after equalizing the mean of the initial distribution of income the situation reverses, with the poorest countries going from being the worse to being the best performers in poverty reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • Melanie Allwine & Jamele Rigolini & Luis F. López-Calva, 2016. "The unfairness of (poverty) targets," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 379-397.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:68:y:2016:i:2:p:379-397.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oep/gpv066
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2002. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1475-1500, September.
    2. Datt, Gaurav, 1998. "Computational tools for poverty measurement and analysis," FCND discussion papers 50, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Easterly, William, 2009. "How the Millennium Development Goals are Unfair to Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 26-35, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Olinto, Pedro & Lara Ibarra, Gabriel & Saavedra-Chanduvi, Jaime, 2014. "Accelerating poverty reduction in a less poor world : the roles of growth and inequality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6855, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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