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Benefit incidence and the timing of program capture

  • Lanjouw, Peter
  • Ravallion, Martin

Survey-based estimates of average program participation conditional on income are often used in assessing the distributional impacts of public spending reforms. But program participation could well be nonhomogeneous, so that marginal impacts of program expansion or contraction differ greatly from average impacts. Using the geographic variation found in sample survey data for rural India for 1993-94, the authors estimate the marginal odds of participating in schooling and antipoverty programs. Their results suggest early capture of these programs by the nonpoor. Thus, conventional methods of assessing benefit incidence underestimate the gains to India's rural poor from higher public outlays, and their loss from program cuts.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1956.

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Date of creation: 31 Aug 1998
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1956
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  1. Bidani, Benu & Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Decomposing social indicators using distributional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 125-139, March.
  2. Lipton, Michael & Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Poverty and policy," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2551-2657 Elsevier.
  3. Piggott, John & Whalley, John, 1987. "Interpreting Net Fiscal Incidence Calculations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 685-94, November.
  4. Radhakrishna, R. & Subbarao, K., 1997. "India's Public Distribution System. A National and International Perspective," World Bank - Discussion Papers 380, World Bank.
  5. Selden, Thomas M. & Wasylenko, Michael J., 1992. "Benefit incidence analysis in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1015, The World Bank.
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