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Anti-poverty Policy: Screening for Eligibility Using Village-level Evidence

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  • Ruhi Saith and Barbara Harriss-White

Abstract

In the context of targeting of state transfers based on income poverty lines, this study is concerned with the identification of households that may have been wrongly included in the target group. To this end, we investigate the relationship between self-declared private income and some 478 household variables obtained in a village level survey. We use class probability tree analysis which is a non-parametric multivariate method. Relationships are expressed as easily interpretable rules that give combinations of the important features that characterise the 'poor' households (income declared below the income poverty line) and the 'non-poor' (income declared above the income poverty line), rather than as mathematical equations as in previous regression based analyses. Approximately 20% of the households that declared income so as to be classified 'poor' were found to have feature combinations which were similar to those characterising 'non-poor' households. These cases would thus be worthy of further investigation for distortion of income, before being considered eligible for any transfers.

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  • Ruhi Saith and Barbara Harriss-White, "undated". "Anti-poverty Policy: Screening for Eligibility Using Village-level Evidence," QEH Working Papers qehwps31, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:qeh:qehwps:qehwps31
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    File URL: http://www3.qeh.ox.ac.uk/RePEc/qeh/qehwps/qehwps31.pdf
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    1. Narayan, Deepa & Pritchett, Lant, 1999. "Cents and Sociability: Household Income and Social Capital in Rural Tanzania," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(4), pages 871-897, July.
    2. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-950, October.
    3. Woolcock, Michael & Narayan, Deepa, 2000. "Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research, and Policy," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 225-249, August.
    4. Ostrom, Elinor, 1996. "Crossing the great divide: Coproduction, synergy, and development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1073-1087, June.
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