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Targeting assistance to the poor using household survey data

  • Glewwe, Paul
  • Kanaan, Oussama

It is important that limited government resources be channeled to the poor, but it is not always easy to identify the poor. Which households should be given tranfers when reliable information on incomes is difficult to obtain? The authors of this paper present a simple method for targeting when income is not observable but other characteristics that are correlated with income can be observed. Using survey data taken from Cote d'Ivoire, they predict incomes based on observable characteristics and distribute transfers on the basis of those predictions. It appears that significant reductions in poverty can be achieved using this method.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 225.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 1989
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:225
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  1. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  2. Nichols, Albert L & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1982. "Targeting Transfers through Restrictions on Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 372-77, May.
  3. Ravallion, Martin & Chao, Kalvin, 1989. "Targeted policies for poverty alleviation under imperfect information: Algorithms and applications," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 213-224.
  4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  5. Besley, Timothy J & Kanbur, S M Ravi, 1988. "Food Subsidies and Poverty Alleviation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(392), pages 701-19, September.
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