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Targeting Assistance to the Poor and Food Insecure: A Review of the Literature

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  • Lundberg, Mattias K.A.
  • Diskin, Patrick K.

Abstract

Targeting involves the identification and selection of certain groups or households or even individuals, and the distribution of benefits (or costs) to them. Targeting is required because governments face resource constraints, and because households have different needs: some are poorer and more food insecure than others. In general, the managerial costs of targeting increase with its narrowness or intended accuracy, and these costs may exceed the savings achieved by targeting. The benefits of targeting arise precisely because it reduces the size of the target population, and the cost of narrower targeting includes the unintentional exclusion of some of the target population. The literature highlights several factors common to successful public works programs, such as the need for flexibility in design and the need to pay attention to the local cultural, geographic, and economic environment in which the projects are to be implemented.

Suggested Citation

  • Lundberg, Mattias K.A. & Diskin, Patrick K., 1994. "Targeting Assistance to the Poor and Food Insecure: A Review of the Literature," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54705, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:midiwp:54705
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/54705
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Haddad, Lawrence & Kanbur, Ravi, 1990. "How Serious Is the Neglect of Intra-Household Inequality?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(402), pages 866-881, September.
    2. Besley, Timothy J & Kanbur, S M Ravi, 1988. "Food Subsidies and Poverty Alleviation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(392), pages 701-719, September.
    3. Chaudhuri, Shubham & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "How well do static indicators identify the chronically poor?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 367-394, March.
    4. Reardon, Thomas & Matlon, Peter & Delgado, Christopher, 1988. "Coping with household-level food insecurity in drought-affected areas of Burkina Faso," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 16(9), pages 1065-1074, September.
    5. Sawhill, Isabel V, 1988. "Poverty in the U.S.: Why Is It So Persistent?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1073-1119, September.
    6. Jayne, Thomas S. & Tschirley, David L. & Staatz, John M. & Shaffer, James D. & Weber, Michael T. & Chisvo, Munhamo & Mukumbu, Mulinge, 1994. "Market-Oriented Strategies to Improve Household Access to Food: Experience from Sub-Saharan Africa," Food Security International Development Papers 54056, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    7. Ravallion, Martin, 1989. "Land-contingent poverty alleviation schemes," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(8), pages 1223-1233, August.
    8. Teklu, Tesfaye & von Braun, Joachim & Zaki, Elsayed & Ali, Ahmed, 1991. "Drought and famine relationships in Sudan: policy implications," Research reports 88, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Ahluwalia, Deepak, 1993. "Public distribution of food in India : Coverage, targeting and leakages," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 33-54, February.
    10. von Braun, Joachim & de Haen, Hartwig, 1983. "The effects of food price and subsidy policies on Egyptian agriculture:," Research reports 42, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    11. von Braun, Joachim & Teklu, Tesfaye & Webb, Patrick, 1991. "Labor-intensive public works for food security: Experience in Africa," IFPRI working papers 6, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Strauss, John, 1986. "Does Better Nutrition Raise Farm Productivity?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 297-320, April.
    13. Alderman, Harold, 1987. "Allocation of goods through non-price mechanisms : Evidence on distribution by willingness to wait," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 105-124, February.
    14. Nichols, Albert L & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1982. "Targeting Transfers through Restrictions on Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 372-377, May.
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    16. Schiff, Maurice & Valdes, Alberto, 1990. "The link between poverty and malnutrition : a household theoretic approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 536, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Staatz, John M., 1994. "The Strategic Role of Food and Agricultural Systems in Fighting Hunger Through Fostering Sustainable Economic Growth," Staff Papers 201190, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    food security; food policy; Food Security and Poverty; Downloads June 2008-July 2009: 21; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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