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Public Transfers, Equivalence Scales and Poverty in Canada and the United States


  • Paul Makdissi

    () (GREDI, Département d'économique, Université de Sherbrooke)

  • Quentin Wodon

    () (World Bank, Washington)

  • Yannick Therrien

    () (Ministère des finances, Québec, Washington Yannick Therrien)


The evaluation of the impact on poverty of social programs depends on how other programs are treated in the analysis and on the assumptions used for estimating poverty measures. This paper applies a simple yet sound method for allocating between various programs the total poverty reduction obtained from several programs. Estimates of program impacts are also provided for a range of equivalence scales, poverty measures, and poverty lines in both Canada and the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Makdissi & Quentin Wodon & Yannick Therrien, 2005. "Public Transfers, Equivalence Scales and Poverty in Canada and the United States," Cahiers de recherche 05-04, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
  • Handle: RePEc:shr:wpaper:05-04

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    File Function: First version, 2005
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Atkinson, A B, 1992. "Measuring Poverty and Differences in Family Composition," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(233), pages 1-16, February.
    2. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    3. Jean-Yves Duclos & Paul Makdissi & Quentin Wodon, 2005. "Poverty-Reducing Tax Reforms with Heterogeneous Agents," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(1), pages 107-116, February.
    4. Jean-Yves Duclos & Paul Makdissi, 2005. "Sequential Stochastic Dominance And The Robustness Of Poverty Orderings," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(1), pages 63-87, March.
    5. Jenkins, Stephen P & Lambert, Peter J, 1993. "Ranking Income Distributions When Needs Differ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(4), pages 337-356, December.
    6. Paul Makdissi & Quentin Wodon, 2004. "Measuring Poverty Reduction and Targeting Performance Under Multiple Government Programs," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(4), pages 573-582, November.
    7. Chambaz, Christine & Maurin, Eric, 1998. "Atkinson and Bourguignon's Dominance Criteria: Extended and Applied to the Measurement of Poverty in France," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(4), pages 497-513, December.
    8. Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Equivalence Scale Relativities and the Extent of Inequality and Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1067-1082, September.
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    More about this item


    Poverty; transfers; taxes; Canada; United States.;

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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