IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Poverty targeting in public programs: A comparison of some nonparametric tests and their application to Indian microfinance


  • Isha Dewan

    (Indian Statistical Institute)

  • Rohini Somanathan

    (Delhi School of Economics)


Many popular social programs have limited coverage among households at the very bottom of the income and wealth distribution. If a program reaches the poor, but neglects the destitute, the (pre-program) income distribution of participants and non-participants will cross. We are interested in the statis-tical methods that can be used to test for this particular pattern of program participation. Our numerical simulations suggest that recently developed tests for distribution crossing are powerful even when the two distributions under study are fairly similar and they can be usefully combined with more stan-dard quantile tests to characterize program participation among the very poor. We apply this approach to data on household expenditures and membership of micro-credit groups in India and find that participation among the poorest households in the study area was lower than that of slightly richer households.

Suggested Citation

  • Isha Dewan & Rohini Somanathan, 2007. "Poverty targeting in public programs: A comparison of some nonparametric tests and their application to Indian microfinance," Working papers 154, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cde:cdewps:154

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
    2. Robert C. Feenstra & Gene M. Grossman & Douglas A. Irwin (ed.), 1996. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy: Papers in Honor of Jagdish Bhagwati," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061864, July.
    3. Paul Bergin & Robert Feenstra, 2006. "Outsourcing and Volatility," Working Papers 628, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2006. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 37-74, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Koen Rossel-Cambier, 2010. "Do Multiple Financial Services Enhance the Poverty Outreach of Microfinance Institutions?," Working Papers CEB 10-058, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Jayati Ghosh, 2012. "Microfinance and the Challenge of Financial Inclusion for Development," Ensayos Económicos, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, vol. 1(67), pages 7-34, December.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:cde:cdewps:154. 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: (Sanjeev Sharma). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.