Whom to target: an obvious choice?
There has been an ongoing debate among researchers, policy-makers and development partners in low-income countries on whether and to what degree non-contributory social transfers should be targeted to the poor or paid out universally to every citizen or to all citizens in a particular category. This paper critically discusses the assumptions behind the political economy arguments of targeting and tests whether a universal mechanism is bound to politically excel in a lowincome country context. A number of authors have argued that going universal is a win-win situation, both for the poor, the middle class as well as those who are in power. We would therefore expect broad-based support behind a universal scheme, in particular in countries where poverty is widespread and targeting also proves administratively challenging. On the basis of attitudinal surveys with the urban, rural and student population in Zambia, we actually detect more support for targeting the poor than the political economy models would predict. These findings are corroborated by experimental evidence from rural Zambia. We discuss the assumptions of the political economy models in the light of these findings and contemplate on potentially decisive parameters that the models currently do not incorporate.
|Date of creation:||2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht|
Phone: (31) (0)43 3883875
Fax: (31) (0)43 3216518
Web page: http://www.merit.unu.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri D. Hole & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2005.
"The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
1611, CESifo Group Munich.
- Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
- Philippe De Donder & Jean Hindriks, 1998.
"The political economy of targeting,"
Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 177-200, April.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2001.
"Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities,"
NBER Working Papers
8267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Preferences for redistribution in the land of opportunities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 897-931, June.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2001. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1936, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," CEPR Discussion Papers 3155, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Working Papers 178, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Margaret Grosh & Carlo del Ninno & Emil Tesliuc & Azedine Ouerghi, 2008. "For Protection and Promotion : The Design and Implementation of Effective Safety Nets," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6582, June.
- Alexander W. Cappelen & Karl O. Moene & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2013. "Needs Versus Entitlements—An International Fairness Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 574-598, 06.
- Ravallion, Martin, 1999.
"Is more targeting consistent with less spending?,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2079, The World Bank.
- Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
- Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1999.
"Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution,"
JCPR Working Papers
61, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Ilyana Kuziemko & Ryan W. Buell & Taly Reich & Michael I. Norton, 2011. ""Last-place Aversion": Evidence and Redistributive Implications," NBER Working Papers 17234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Besley, Timothy, 1990. "Means Testing versus Universal Provision in Poverty Alleviation Programmes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 57(225), pages 119-29, February.
- David Coady & Margaret Grosh & John Hoddinott, 2004. "Targeting of Transfers in Developing Countries : Review of Lessons and Experience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14902, June.
- Karl Ove Moene & Michael Wallerstein, 2001. "Targeting and political support for welfare spending," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 3-24, 03.
- Gelbach Jonah B. & Pritchett Lant, 2002. "Is More for the Poor Less for the Poor? The Politics of Means-Tested Targeting," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-28, July.
- Fong, Christina, 2001. "Social preferences, self-interest, and the demand for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 225-246, November.
- Boarini, Romina & Le Clainche, Christine, 2009. "Social preferences for public intervention: An empirical investigation based on French data," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 115-128, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2012028. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ad Notten)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.