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Poverty targeting in public programs: A comparison of alternative nonparametric methods

  • Isha Dewan

    ()

    (Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi)

  • Rohini Somanathan

    ()

    (Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi)

Very poor households may be excluded from public programs intended for their benefit for a variety of reasons as lack information, a permanent residence or membershiip in social networks. We are interested in methods of testing for such exclusion based on independently drawn samples of program participants and non-participants. We discuss three alternative nonparametric procedures; sign tests, tests for stochastic dominance and a test for distribution crossing. In the cases where there is a poverty threshold below which program participation is difficult, our simulation results suggests that the last of these test procedures is the most powrful. we apply this test to data from a microfinance program in India and find evidence that the poorest households in the area were largely outside the program.

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Paper provided by Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India in its series Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers with number 04-16.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ind:isipdp:04-16
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  1. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey Smith, 2003. "The Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Evidence from a Prototypical Job Training Program," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20034, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  2. Davidson, R. & Duclos, J.-Y., 1998. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 98a14, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  3. Schmid, Friedrich & Trede, Mark, 1998. "A Kolmogorov-type test for second-order stochastic dominance," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 183-193, February.
  4. Christina Paxson & Norbert R. Schady, 2002. "The Allocation and Impact of Social Funds: Spending on School Infrastructure in Peru," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(2), pages 297-319, August.
  5. Foster, James E & Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1988. "Poverty Orderings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 173-77, January.
  6. Anderson, Gordon, 1996. "Nonparametric Tests of Stochastic Dominance in Income Distributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1183-93, September.
  7. Kaur, Amarjot & Prakasa Rao, B.L.S. & Singh, Harshinder, 1994. "Testing for Second-Order Stochastic Dominance of Two Distributions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(05), pages 849-866, December.
  8. Jonathan Morduch, 1998. "Does Microfinance Really Help the Poor? New Evidence from Flagship Programs in Bangladesh," Working Papers 198, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  9. Beach, Charles M & Davidson, Russell, 1983. "Distribution-Free Statistical Inference with Lorenz Curves and Income Shares," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 723-35, October.
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