IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Human capital, targeting and social safety nets: An analysis of household data from Zimbabwe

Listed author(s):
  • Lucia Hanmer
Registered author(s):

    This article considers the issue of targeting social services to the poor in developing countries. One important, although often neglected, dimension of poverty is a household's ability to carry out human capital formation. It is argued that defining poverty with reference to human capital has conceptual advantages over the more frequently used income definitions (poverty lines), as well as having practical advantages for policy makers in poor countries. Analysis of an urban household data set from Zimbabwe shows that indicators of some aspects of human capital poverty are strongly correlated with particular household characteristics. The policy conclusions are that policy makers in Zimbabwe could extend the targeted provision of free health services from rural areas to certain wards in urban areas and to urban female headed households and that existing means tested social benefits should take account of household size and composition when setting the income criteria that determine inclusion in the target group. More generally, use of indicators of human capital poverty, or their correlates, as the criteria for inclusions in the target group offers a viable alternative to means testing social benefits in developing countries and they could therefore be used to increase the effectiveness of targeted poverty alleviation and social safety net policies.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 26 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 245-265

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:26:y:1998:i:2:p:245-265
    DOI: 10.1080/13600819808424155
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:26:y:1998:i:2:p:245-265. 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: (Chris Longhurst)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.