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Anti-Poverty Transfers without Riots in Tunisia

  • Christophe Muller

    ()

    (THEMA,University of Cergy-Pontoise - 33, Bd. du Port, 95011 Cergy, France.)

We draw some lessons from the Tunisian experience of social reforms and associated unrest. Our main interest is the riots that occurred after subsidy cuts and the attempts at substitution of price subsidies by direct cash transfers. We propose new welfare indicators to assess reforms in such situations. Using micro level data, we show that plausible policy decisions depend on parameters describing the balance between poverty and program exclusion risk. In the Tunisian case, only a much larger weight put on poverty relatively to exclusion could bring the decision maker to substitute in force price subsidies with direct cash transfers.

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Paper provided by THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise in its series THEMA Working Papers with number 2008-15.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2008-15
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  8. Bigman, David & Fofack, Hippolyte, 2000. "Geographical Targeting for Poverty Alleviation: An Introduction to the Special Issue," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 129-45, January.
  9. Philippe De Donder & Jean Hindriks, 1998. "The political economy of targeting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 177-200, April.
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  11. Christophe MULLER and Sami BIBI, 2008. "Focused Transfer Targeting against Poverty Evidence from Tunisia," THEMA Working Papers 2008-37, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  12. Baker, Judy L. & Grosh, Margaret E., 1994. "Poverty reduction through geographic targeting: How well does it work?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 983-995, July.
  13. Schady, Norbert R, 2002. "Picking the Poor: Indicators for Geographic Targeting in Peru," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 417-33, September.
  14. John Maluccio & Natàlia Caldés & David Coady, 2005. "The Cost of Poverty Alleviation Transfer Programs: A Comparative Analysis of Three Programs in Latin America," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0527, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  15. David Coady, 2004. "Targeting Outcomes Redux," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 61-85.
  16. Giovanni Andrea Cornia & Frances Stewart, 1993. "Two Errors of Targeting," Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series iopeps93/54, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
  17. Pollak, Robert A & Wales, Terence J, 1979. "Welfare Comparisons and Equivalence Scales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 216-21, May.
  18. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  19. Ahmed, Akhter U. & Bouis, Howarth E., 2002. "Weighing what's practical: proxy means tests for targeting food subsidies in Egypt," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5-6), pages 519-540.
  20. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1990. "Regional disparities, targeting, and poverty in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 375, The World Bank.
  21. Bourguignon, Francois & Fields, Gary, 1997. "Discontinuous losses from poverty, generalized P[alpha] measures, and optimal transfers to the poor," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 155-175, January.
  22. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Decentralized targeting of an antipoverty program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 705-727, April.
  23. François BOURGUIGNON & Gary S. FIELDS, 1990. "Poverty Measures and Anti-Poverty Policy," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1990038, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  24. Muller, Christophe, 2002. "Prices and living standards: evidence for Rwanda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 187-203, June.
  25. Creedy, John, 1996. "Comparing Tax and Transfer Systems: Poverty, Inequality and Target Efficiency," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages S163-74, Suppl..
  26. Besley, Timothy J & Kanbur, S M Ravi, 1988. "Food Subsidies and Poverty Alleviation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(392), pages 701-19, September.
  27. S. M. Ravi Kanbur, 1987. "Measurement and Alleviation of Poverty: With an Application to the Effects of Macroeconomic Adjustment (Evaluation quantitative de la pauvreté et remèdes possibles: analyse des effets d'un ajustemen," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(1), pages 60-85, March.
  28. Park, Albert & Wang, Sangui & Wu, Guobao, 2002. "Regional poverty targeting in China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 123-153, October.
  29. Bigman, David & Srinivasan, P. V., 2002. "Geographical targeting of poverty alleviation programs: methodology and applications in rural India," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 237-255, June.
  30. Alderman, Harold & Lindert, Kathy, 1998. "The Potential and Limitations of Self-Targeted Food Subsidies," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 213-29, August.
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