Measuring performance: does the assessment depend on the poverty proxy?
Poverty indicators often disagree about whether a person is poor or not. Yet, when it comes to assessing whether a program is successful in reaching the poor the dominant practice is to use an income poverty indicator. This paper investigates whether the choice of welfare indicator influences the pro-poorness assessment of an intervention. Using the official European Union income and material deprivation indicators, this paper compares the outcomes of four performance indicators for three types of income transfers in six high income European countries namely Germany, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. This study finds that the dominant practice of using an income indicator systematically underestimates the performance of income transfers; when the information from both indicators is combined programs are assessed as far more successful.
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