IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/wbrobs/v13y1998i2p231-48.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Targeting Revisited

Author

Listed:
  • van de Walle, Dominique

Abstract

Public spending programs aimed at alleviating poverty can either be broadly targeted at categories of spending or narrowly targeted at types of people. Each approach has benefits and costs to the poor. It is often claimed that narrow targeting of the poor will allow governments to reduce poverty more effectively and at lower cost. But narrow targeting often has hidden costs, and once these costs are considered, the most finely targeted policy may not have any more effect on poverty than a broadly targeted one. Both approaches also have hidden benefits, although less is known about their impact. Targeting can help, but it is not a cure-all. Reducing poverty calls for broadly targeted social sector spending combined with narrower targeting of cash and in-kind transfers to specific groups. It is also important for governments to experiment with schemes that offer better incentives, to carefully monitor the costs and outcomes, and to be flexible and pragmatic in their policy responses. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • van de Walle, Dominique, 1998. "Targeting Revisited," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 231-248, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:13:y:1998:i:2:p:231-48
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.worldbank.org/research/journals/wbro/obsaug98/pdf/article5.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Martin Ravallion & Gaurav Datt, 1995. "Is Targeting Through a Work Requirement Efficient? Some Evidence for Rural India," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-41, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    2. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Are there dynamic gains from a poor-area development program?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 65-85, January.
    3. Besley, T., 1988. "Workfare Vs. Welfare: Incentive Arguments For Work Requirements In Poverty Alleviation Programs," Papers 142, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
    4. Tuck, L. & Lindert, K., 1996. "From Universal Food Subsidies to a Self-Targeted Program: A Case Study in Tunisian Reform," World Bank - Discussion Papers 351, World Bank.
    5. Besley, T., 1988. "Workfare Vs. Welfare: Incentive Arguments For Work Requirements In Poverty Alleviation Programs," Papers 142, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
    6. Guinnane, T.W. & Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1993. "Understanding the Worhouse Test: Information and poor Relief in Nineteenth-Century England," Papers 701, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    7. Gelbach, Jonah B. & Pritchett, Lant H., 1995. "Does more for the poor mean less for the poor? The politics of tagging," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1523, The World Bank.
    8. Datt, Gaurav*Ravallion, Martin, 1990. "Regional disparities, targeting, and poverty in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 375, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:13:y:1998:i:2:p:231-48. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/wrldbus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.