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Who Benefits from Increased Access to Public Services at the Local Level? A Marginal Benefit Incidence Analysis for Education and Basic Infrastructure

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  • Ajwad, Mohamed Ishan
  • Wodon, Quentin

Abstract

Do poor people benefit more or less than the nonpoor from an expansion in access to public services? And do those benefits depend on the existing level of access? Answering these questions is essential to strategies for empowering (or “investing in”) poor people, but the lack of panel data or repeated crosssectional data in poor countries has often made it impossible. This paper proposes a methodology for answering these questions using data from only a single cross-section survey. We argue that the methodology may be useful for monitoring the allocation of public expenditures in a context of decentralization, and we demonstrate this by applying it to local-level data from Bolivia and Paraguay. The results indicate that the marginal benefit incidence is higher (or at least not systematically lower) for the poor than for the nonpoor in education, but this is not the case for many basic infrastructure services. More generally, the poor seem to gain access only once the nonpoor already have high levels of access. This suggests that pro-poor policies must be implemented if the poor are to reap the benefits of gains in access faster.

Suggested Citation

  • Ajwad, Mohamed Ishan & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Who Benefits from Increased Access to Public Services at the Local Level? A Marginal Benefit Incidence Analysis for Education and Basic Infrastructure," MPRA Paper 12309, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:12309
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/12309/1/MPRA_paper_12309.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Banking on the Poor? Branch Location and Nonfarm Rural Development in Bangladesh," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 121-139, June.
    4. Wodon, Quentin & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Inequality and Social Welfare," MPRA Paper 12298, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1982. "Relative deprivation and economic welfare," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 99-113.
    6. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2001. "A Public Finance Approach to Assessing Poverty Alleviation," NBER Working Papers 8062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Lanjouw, Peter & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Benefit Incidence, Public Spending Reforms, and the Timing of Program Capture," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 257-273, May.
    8. Behrman, Jere R & Craig, Steven G, 1987. "The Distribution of Public Services: An Exploration of Local Governmental Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 37-49, March.
    9. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    10. Wodon, Quentin & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2003. "The effect of using grouped data on the estimation of the Gini income elasticity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 153-159, February.
    11. Shoup, Carl S., 1989. "Rules for Distributing a Free Government Service Among Areas of a City," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 42(2), pages 103-21, June.
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    13. Ravallion, Martin*Wodon, Quentin, 1997. "Banking on the poor? Branch placement and nonfarm rural development in Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1858, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ruwan Jayasuriya & Quentin Wodon, 2007. "Efficiency in Improving Health and Education Outcomes: Provincial and State-Level Estimates for Argentina and Mexico," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 22(1), pages 57-97.
    2. Estache, Antonio & Foster, Vivien & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Making infrastructure reform in Latin America work for the poor," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), December.
    3. World Bank, 2002. "Bolivia : Poverty Diagnostic 2000," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15382, The World Bank.
    4. Andres,Luis Alberto & Biller,S. A. Dan & Herrera Dappe,Matias, 2014. "Infrastructure gap in South Asia : inequality of access to infrastructure services," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7033, The World Bank.
    5. Dan Biller & Luis Andres & Matias Dappe, 2015. "Infrastructure Gap in South Asia: Inequality of Access to Infrastructure Services," ERSA conference papers ersa15p1485, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Biller, Dan & Andres , Luis & Herrera Dappe, Matias & Basnyat , Ashma, 2014. "Sharing Prosperity by Closing South Asia’s Infrastructure Gap," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 149, pages 1-10, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Benefit incidence analysis; education; basic infrastructure;

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

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