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Targeting and child poverty

  • Olivier Bargain
  • Olivier Donni


We examine the relative merits of targeting children within the household through price subsidies and cash transfers. To do so, we model the behavior of a household composed of one adult and one child. We then show that ‘favorable’ distortions from price subsidies may allow redistributing toward the child and then derive the conditions under which this redistributive scheme is more efficient than cash transfers. The framework is extended to account for possible paternalistic preferences of the social planner and for households composed of two adults with different preferences. Applied to a continuum of households, our approach is extended to the problem of child poverty alleviation. In contrast to the traditional view, we show that well-chosen subsidies may be more cost effective than cash transfers in reducing child poverty. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2012

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 39 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 783-808

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:39:y:2012:i:4:p:783-808
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