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Hidden impact ? Ex-post evaluation of an anti-poverty program

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Listed:
  • Chen, Shaohua
  • Ravallion, Martin

Abstract

By the widely used difference-in-difference method, the Southwest China Poverty Reduction Project had little impact on the proportion of people in beneficiary villages consuming less than $1 a day-despite a public outlay of $400 million. Is that right, or is the true impact being hidden somehow? The authors find that impact estimates are quite sensitive to the choice of outcome indicator, the poverty line, and the matching method. There are larger poverty impacts at lower poverty lines. And there are much larger impacts on incomes than consumptions. Uncertainty about the impact probably made it hard for participants to infer the gain in permanent income, so they saved ahigh proportion of the short-term gain.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Hidden impact ? Ex-post evaluation of an anti-poverty program," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3049, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3049
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chen, Jian & Fleisher, Belton M., 1996. "Regional Income Inequality and Economic Growth in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 141-164, April.
    2. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Behavioral responses to risk in rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 23-49, October.
    3. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
    4. Gersovitz, Mark, 1988. "Saving and development," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 381-424 Elsevier.
    5. Jian, Tianlun & Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 1996. "Trends in regional inequality in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-21.
    6. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Data in transition: Assessing rural living standards in Southern China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 23-56.
    7. Park, Albert & Wang, Sangui & Wu, Guobao, 2002. "Regional poverty targeting in China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 123-153, October.
    8. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Savings, credit and insurance," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 2123-2207 Elsevier.
    9. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Are there dynamic gains from a poor-area development program?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 65-85, January.
    10. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bussolo, Maurizio & Niimi, Yoko, 2006. "Do regional trade pacts benefit the poor ? An illustration from the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement in Nicaragua," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3850, The World Bank.

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