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Cash Transfers and Poverty Reduction in Chile

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Abstract

By all accounts, poverty in Chile has declined dramatically over the last 20 years, with the nacional headcount ratio declining from nearly 40% in 1987 to below 14% in 2006. Due to data limitations, most research on poverty in Chile has focused on national and regional estimates, yet recent improvements in poverty mapping methodologies now enable the analysis of poverty at the sub-regional level. In this paper, we employ these methodologies to assess the impact of cash transfers on poverty rates at the county level. We find that transfers significantly reduce the incidence of poverty and that estimated headcount ratios fall by between 5% and 68%. To better understand variation in the effectiveness of transfers in reducing poverty at the local level, we also explore the interplay between transfers and geography. We find that the greatest reductions in poverty at the county level occur in rural households and that topography influences the effectiveness of transfers in some areas. Taken together, these findings suggest that targeting at low levels of aggregation can help to deliver further reductions in poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudio Agostini & Phillip Brown, 2007. "Cash Transfers and Poverty Reduction in Chile," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv187, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  • Handle: RePEc:ila:ilades:inv187
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    1. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Can high-inequality developing countries escape absolute poverty?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 51-57, September.
    2. Dante Contreras & Osvaldo Larrañaga, 1999. "Los activos y recursos de la población pobre en América Latina: El caso de Chile," Research Department Publications 3056, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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    Cited by:

    1. Olfert, R. & Berdegué, J. & Escobal, J. & Jara, B. & Modrego, F., 2011. "Places for Place-Based Policies," Working papers 079, Rimisp Latin American Center for Rural Development.
    2. Raul M. Silveira-Neto & Carlos R. Azzoni, 2012. "Social Policy As Regional Policy: Market And Nonmarket Factors Determining Regional Inequality," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 433-450, August.
    3. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:10:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s12571-018-0768-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, August.
    5. Claudio A Agostini & Bárbara Flores & Claudia Martinez, 2011. "Equidad Tributaria Horizontal en el Impuesto al Ingreso en Chile," Working Papers wp_012, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.
    6. Saari, M. Yusof & Dietzenbacher, Erik & Los, Bart, 2015. "Sources of Income Growth and Inequality Across Ethnic Groups in Malaysia, 1970–2000," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 311-328.
    7. Bronfman, Javier & Floro, Maria, 2014. "How well has the Social Protection Scheme Reduced Vulnerability in Chile?," MPRA Paper 63255, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Cristián Mardones P., 2014. "Complementarity between flat tax and conditional cash transfers to improve the income distribution in Chile," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 17(3), pages 04-27, December.
    9. Chaaban, Jad M. & Ghattas, Hala & Irani, Alexandra & Thomas, Alban, 2018. "Targeting mechanisms for cash transfers using regional aggregates," TSE Working Papers 18-896, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality; poverty mapping; government subsidies; cash transfers; Chile;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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