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The Income Lever and the Allocation of Aid

  • Lidia Ceriani

    (Bocconi University, Milan, Italy)

  • Paolo Verme

    (The World Bank, Washington DC, USA)

The paper develops a concept and a measure of the monetary capacity of a country to reduce its own poverty and shows how these tools can be used to guide budget allocations or the distribution of Aid. We call this concept the income lever and define it as the relation between the welfare of the poor and the welfare of the non-poor in a given society. Making use of tax and distributive theory, the paper shows how to different redistributive criteria correspond different normative criteria of income lever. We then construct various income lever indexes based on these criteria and use such indexes to rank countries according to their own monetary poverty reduction capacity. As shown in the empirical application, this methodology can provide an equitable tool to rank countries or regions when it comes to budget or Aid allocations, whether it is the allocation of social funds within the European Union (North-North transfers) or the allocation of Aid from rich to poor countries (North-South transfers).

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File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2013-286.pdf
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Paper provided by ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality in its series Working Papers with number 286.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2013-286
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ecineq.org
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  1. Peter Nunnenkamp & Rainer Thiele, 2006. "Targeting Aid to the Needy and Deserving: Nothing But Promises?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(9), pages 1177-1201, 09.
  2. Dreher, Axel & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Thiele, Rainer, 2011. "Are ‘New’ Donors Different? Comparing the Allocation of Bilateral Aid Between nonDAC and DAC Donor Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 1950-1968.
  3. David Fielding & George Mavrotas, 2008. "Aid Volatility and Donor-Recipient Characteristics in 'Difficult Partnership Countries'," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(299), pages 481-494, 08.
  4. Stijn Claessens & Danny Cassimon & Bjorn Van Campenhout, 2009. "Evidence on Changes in Aid Allocation Criteria," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 23(2), pages 185-208, June.
  5. Naudet, Jean-David & Cogneau, Denis, 2007. "Who deserves aid? Equality of opportunity, international aid and poverty reduction," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4461, Paris Dauphine University.
  6. Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico, 2011. "Multidimensional Affluence: Theory and Applications to Germany and the US," IZA Discussion Papers 5926, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Eisenhauer, Joseph G., 2011. "The rich, the poor, and the middle class: Thresholds and intensity indices," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 294-304, December.
  8. Marcelo Medeiros, 2006. "The Rich and the Poor: The Construction of an Affluence Line from the Poverty Line," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 78(1), pages 1-18, 08.
  9. William Easterly & Ross Levine & David Roodman, 2004. "Aid, Policies, and Growth: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 774-780, June.
  10. Llavador, Humberto G. & Roemer, John E., 2001. "An equal-opportunity approach to the allocation of international aid," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 147-171, February.
  11. John Quiggin & Renuka Mahadevan, 2010. "The Poverty Burden: A Measure of the Difficulty of Ending Extreme Poverty," Australian Public Policy Program Working Papers WPP10_2, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland.
  12. Alberto Alesina & David Dollar, 1998. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," NBER Working Papers 6612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Ale Bulir & A. Javier Hamann, 2003. "Aid Volatility: An Empirical Assessment," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(1), pages 4.
  14. Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 1997. "Aid, policies, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1777, The World Bank.
  15. Hristos Doucouliagos & Martin Paldam, 2005. "Aid Effectiveness on Growth. A Meta Study," Economics Working Papers 2005-13, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  16. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Lennart Erickson, 2007. "Reasonable Expectations and the First Millennium Development Goal: How Much Can Aid Achieve?," Discussion Papers 07-18, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  17. Andreas Peichl, 2007. "Measuring richness," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2007 06, Stata Users Group.
  18. Michal Brzezinski, 2010. "Income Affluence in Poland," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 285-299, November.
  19. Chauvet, Lisa, 2003. "Socio-political instability and the allocation of international aid by donors," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 33-59, March.
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