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Targeting ultra-poor households in Honduras and Peru

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  • Dean Karlan
  • Bram Thuysbaert

Abstract

For policy purposes, it is important to understand the relative efficacy of various methods to target the poor. Recently, participatory methods have received particular attention. We examine the effectiveness of a hybrid two-step process that combines a participatory wealth ranking and a verification household survey, relative to two proxy means tests (the Progress out of Poverty Index and a housing index), in Honduras and Peru. The methods we examine perform similarly to one another by various metrics. They all target most accurately in the cases of the poorest and the wealthiest households but perform with mixed results among households in the middle of the distribution. Ultimately, given similar performance, the analysis suggests that costs should be the driving consideration in choosing across methods.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean Karlan & Bram Thuysbaert, 2013. "Targeting ultra-poor households in Honduras and Peru," NBER Working Papers 19646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19646
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Vivi Alatas & Abhijit Banerjee & Rema Hanna & Benjamin A. Olken & Julia Tobias, 2012. "Targeting the Poor: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1206-1240, June.
    2. Ravallion, M., 1998. "Poverty Lines in Theory and Practice," Papers 133, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    3. Chambers, Robert, 1994. "Participatory rural appraisal (PRA): Analysis of experience," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1253-1268, September.
    4. Chambers, Robert, 1994. "Participatory rural appraisal (PRA): Challenges, potentials and paradigm," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 1437-1454, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Schreiner, 2015. "A Comparison of Two Simple, Low-Cost Ways for Local, Pro-Poor Organizations to Measure the Poverty of Their Participants," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 124(2), pages 537-569, November.
    2. Caitlin Brown & Martin Ravallion & Dominique van de Walle, 2016. "A Poor Means Test? Econometric Targeting in Africa," NBER Working Papers 22919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Schleicher, Michael & Souares, Aurélia & Pacere, Athanase Narangoro & Sauerborn, Rainer & Klonner, Stefan, 2016. "Decentralized versus Statistical Targeting of Anti-Poverty Programs: Evidence from Burkina Faso," Working Papers 0623, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    4. Stoeffler, Quentin & Mills, Bradford & del Ninno, Carlo, 2016. "Reaching the Poor: Cash Transfer Program Targeting in Cameroon," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 244-263.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General

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