IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ema/worpap/2008-37.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Focused Transfer Targeting against Poverty Evidence from Tunisia

Author

Listed:
  • Christophe MULLER
  • Sami BIBI

    () (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA, F-95000 Cergy-Pontoise, France.
    Faculté des Sciences Economiques et de Gestion de Tunis (FSEGT) et Unité de Recherche en Econométrie Appliquée (URECA), Campus Universitaire, Bd. 7 Nov. El Manar 2092 Tunis, Tunisia; and PEP, Canada.)

Abstract

This paper introduces a new methodology to target direct transfers against poverty. Our method is based on estimation methods that focus on the poor. Using data from Tunisia, we estimate ‘focused’ transfer schemes that highly improve anti-poverty targeting performances. Post-transfer poverty can be substantially reduced with the new estimation method. In terms of P2, the most popular axiomatically valid poverty indicator, a 30 percent reduction in poverty from transfer schemes based on OLS method to focused transfer schemes, requires only a few hours of computer work based on methods available on popular statistical packages. Finally, the obtained levels of under-coverage of the poor is so low that reforms based on ‘proxy-means’ focused transfer schemes are likely to avoid social unrest.

Suggested Citation

  • Christophe MULLER & 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2008-37
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://thema.u-cergy.fr/IMG/documents/2008-37.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Transfer Benefits from Public-Works Employment: Evidence for Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1346-1369, November.
    2. Datt, Gaurav & Jolliffe, Dean, 2005. "Poverty in Egypt: Modeling and Policy Simulations," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 327-346, January.
    3. Pollak, Robert A & Wales, Terence J, 1979. "Welfare Comparisons and Equivalence Scales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 216-221.
    4. Martin Ravallion & Gaurav Datt, 1995. "Is Targeting Through a Work Requirement Efficient? Some Evidence for Rural India," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-41, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    5. de Janvry, Alain & Finan, Frederico & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Vakis, Renos, 2006. "Can conditional cash transfer programs serve as safety nets in keeping children at school and from working when exposed to shocks?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 349-373.
    6. 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.
    7. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
    8. Deaton, Angus, 1981. "Optimal Taxes and the Structure of Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1245-1260, September.
    9. 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.
    10. Chris Elbers & Jean O. Lanjouw & Peter Lanjouw, 2003. "Micro--Level Estimation of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 355-364, January.
    11. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Decentralized targeting of an antipoverty program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 705-727.
    12. Pudney, Stephen, 1999. " On Some Statistical Methods for Modelling the Incidence of Poverty," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, pages 385-408.
    13. Case, Anne & Deaton, Angus, 1998. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1330-1361, September.
    14. Emmanuel Skoufias & David P. Coady, 2007. "Are the Welfare Losses from Imperfect Targeting Important?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, pages 756-776.
    15. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    16. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1994. "Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure 1963-1987: Application of Quantile Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 405-458, March.
    17. Glewwe, P. & Kanaan, O., 1989. "Targeting Assistance to the Poor: A Multivariate Approach Using Household Survey Data," Papers 94, Warwick - Development Economics Research Centre.
    18. Powell, James L., 1986. "Censored regression quantiles," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 143-155, June.
    19. Christophe Muller & Sami Bibi, 2006. "Focused Targeting against Poverty Evidence from Tunisia," IDEP Working Papers 0602, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised Apr 2006.
    20. Bibi, Sami & Duclos, Jean-Yves, 2007. "Equity and policy effectiveness with imperfect targeting," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 109-140.
    21. Coady, David P. & Grosh, Margaret & Hoddinott, John, 2002. "Targeting outcomes redux," FCND discussion papers 144, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    22. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2006. "Pro-poor targeting and accountability of local governments in West Bengal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 303-327.
    23. 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, pages 417-433.
    24. Ravallion, Martin & Chao, Kalvin, 1989. "Targeted policies for poverty alleviation under imperfect information: Algorithms and applications," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 213-224.
    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 163-174, Suppl..
    26. David Coady, 2004. "Targeting Outcomes Redux," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 61-85.
    27. Christophe Muller, 2002. "Censored Quantile Regressions of Chronic and Transient Seasonal Poverty in Rwanda," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 11(4), pages 503-541, December.
    28. Moshe Buchinsky & Jinyong Hahn, 1998. "An Alternative Estimator for the Censored Quantile Regression Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 653-672, May.
    29. Muller, Christophe, 2002. "Prices and living standards: evidence for Rwanda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 187-203.
    30. van de Walle, Dominique, 1998. "Assessing the welfare impacts of public spending," World Development, Elsevier, pages 365-379.
    31. Lucia Hanmer, 1998. "Human capital, targeting and social safety nets: An analysis of household data from Zimbabwe," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2), pages 245-265.
    32. 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 129-145, January.
    33. Ravallion, Martin, 1990. "On the coverage of public employment schemes for poverty alleviation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 57-79.
    34. Bourguignon, Francois & Fields, Gary, 1997. "Discontinuous losses from poverty, generalized P[alpha] measures, and optimal transfers to the poor," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 155-175.
    35. Glewwe, Paul, 1992. "Targeting assistance to the poor : Efficient allocation of transfers when household income is not observed," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 297-321.
    36. Hahn, Jinyong, 1995. "Bootstrapping Quantile Regression Estimators," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 105-121, February.
    37. Chakravarty, Satya R. & Mukherjee, Diganta, 1998. "Optimal subsidy for the poor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 313-319, December.
    38. 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.
    39. Park, Albert & Wang, Sangui & Wu, Guobao, 2002. "Regional poverty targeting in China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 123-153.
    40. 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.
    41. 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.
    42. King, Mervyn A., 1983. "Welfare analysis of tax reforms using household data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 183-214.
    43. Slesnick, Daniel T, 1996. "Consumption and Poverty: How Effective Are In-Kind Transfers?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1527-1545, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Christophe Muller, "undated". "Anti-Poverty Transfers without Riots in Tunisia," Discussion Papers 07/06, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    2. Christophe Muller, "undated". "Anti-Poverty Transfers and Spatial Prices in Tunisia," Discussion Papers 08/13, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Poverty; Targeting; Transfers.;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:ema:worpap:2008-37. 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: (Stefania Marcassa). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/themafr.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 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.