IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hal/wpaper/halshs-01684570.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal Cash Transfers with Distribution Regressions: An Application to Egypt at the Dawn of the XXIst Century

Author

Listed:
  • Christophe Muller

    (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université)

Abstract

Social programmes for poverty alleviation involve eligibility rules and transfer rules that often proxy-means tests. We propose to specify the estimator in connection with the poverty alleviation problem. Three distinct stages emerge from the optimization analysis: the identification of the poor, the ranking of their priorities and the calculus of the optimal transfer amount. These stages are implemented simultaneous by using diverse distribution regression methods to generate fitted-values of living standards plugged into the poverty minimization programme to obtain the transfer amounts. We apply these methods to Egypt in 2013. Recentered Influence Function (RIF) regressions focusing on the poor correspond to the most efficient transfer scheme. Most of the efficiency gain is obtained by making transfer amounts varying across beneficiaries rather than by varying estimation methods. Using RIF regressions instead of quantile regressions delivers only marginal poverty alleviation, although it allows for substantial reduction of the exclusion of the poor.

Suggested Citation

  • Christophe Muller, 2018. "Optimal Cash Transfers with Distribution Regressions: An Application to Egypt at the Dawn of the XXIst Century," Working Papers halshs-01684570, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-01684570
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01684570
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01684570/document
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kapteyn, Arie & Aguila, Emma & Tassot, Caroline, 2012. "Targeting Cash Transfer Programs for an Older Population," Working Papers 950, RAND Corporation.
    2. Galiani, Sebastian & McEwan, Patrick J., 2013. "The heterogeneous impact of conditional cash transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 85-96.
    3. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    4. Adama Bah & Samuel Bazzi & Sudarno Sumarto & Julia Tobias, 2019. "Finding the Poor vs. Measuring Their Poverty: Exploring the Drivers of Targeting Effectiveness in Indonesia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 33(3), pages 573-597.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2009. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
    8. Norbert R. Schady, 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 417-433, September.
    9. Immonen, Ritva, et al, 1998. "Tagging and Taxing: The Optimal Use of Categorical and Income Information in Designing Tax/Transfer Schemes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(258), pages 179-192, May.
    10. Besley, Timothy, 1990. "Means Testing versus Universal Provision in Poverty Alleviation Programmes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 57(225), pages 119-129, February.
    11. Chone, Philippe & Laroque, Guy, 2005. "Optimal incentives for labor force participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 395-425, February.
    12. Yosr Abid & Cathal O'Donoghue & Denisa Sologon, 2016. "Decomposing Welfare Inequality in Egypt and Tunisia: an Oaxaca-Blinder Based Approach," Working Papers 1015, Economic Research Forum, revised Jun 2016.
    13. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Wojciech Kopczuk, 2011. "Transfer Program Complexity and the Take-Up of Social Benefits," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 54-90, February.
    14. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Statistical Treatment Rules for Heterogeneous Populations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(4), pages 1221-1246, July.
    15. 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.
    16. Normann Lorenz & Dominik Sachs, 2012. "Optimal Participation Taxes and Efficient Transfer Phase-Out," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-37, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    17. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, September.
    18. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073.
    19. 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.
    20. Sergio Firpo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Unconditional Quantile Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 953-973, May.
    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. Glewwe, Paul, 1992. "Targeting assistance to the poor : Efficient allocation of transfers when household income is not observed," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 297-321, April.
    23. Chakravarty, Satya R. & Mukherjee, Diganta, 1998. "Optimal subsidy for the poor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 313-319, December.
    24. Park, Albert & Wang, Sangui & Wu, Guobao, 2002. "Regional poverty targeting in China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 123-153, October.
    25. Hamish Low & Luigi Pistaferri, 2015. "Disability Insurance and the Dynamics of the Incentive Insurance Trade-Off," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 2986-3029, October.
    26. 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 417-433, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    targeting; optimizing estimator; poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C54 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Quantitative Policy Modeling

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:hal:wpaper:halshs-01684570. 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: (CCSD). General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

    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.