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

Public Investment Targeting in Rural Central America

Listed author(s):
  • Alwang, Jeffrey Roger
  • Jansen, Hans G.P.

This paper uses an asset-base framework to analyze the determinants of rural growth and poverty reduction for the three poorest countries in Central America: Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. High inequalities in the distribution of productive assets in all three countries constrain how the poor share in the benefits of growth, even under appropriate policy regimes. Heterogeneous conditions require complementary analysis of spatial determinants of well-being, analysis of household-level assets, and how household livelihood strategies, conditioned on spatial attributes and asset bases, determine well-being outcomes. Using a combination of GIS mapping techniques and quantitative household analysis, we generate a description of rural territories that recognizes the differential effects of policies and asset bundles across space and households. We identify the asset combinations that matter most to raise household well-being and take advantage of poverty-reducing growth. In all three countries, investments have generally been directed toward more favored areas. But area economic potential does not automatically translate into improved well-being for all households. We found a strong overlap between economic potential, poverty rates and poverty densities in Guatemala and Honduras but not in Nicaragua. This implies that while in Guatemala and Honduras public investments may be targeted toward the Western Altiplano and the hillside areas respectively, in Nicaragua high poverty rates but low poverty densities in the Atlantic zone, and somewhat lower poverty rates but high poverty densities near Managua and other urban centers in the Central and Pacific regions, present a trade-off which makes targeting decisions more complicated.

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: no

Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia with number 25777.

in new window

Date of creation: 2006
Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae06:25777
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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:ags:iaae06:25777. 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: (AgEcon Search)

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.