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The Economics of Regional Poverty-Environment Programs: An Application for Lao People's Democratic Republic

  • Buys, Piet
  • Chomitz, Kenneth
  • Dasgupta, Susmita
  • Deichmann, Uwe
  • Larsen, Bjorn
  • Meisner, Craig
  • Nygard, Jostein
  • Pandey, Kiran
  • Pinnoi, Nat
  • Wheeler, David

Program administrators are often faced with the difficult problem of allocating scarce resources among regions in a country when interventions are aimed at addressing multiple objectives. One main concern is the tradeoff between poverty reduction and improvement of environmental quality. To provide a framework for analysis, the authors develop a model of optimal budget allocation that allows for variations in three factors: administrators'valuation of objectives; their willingness to accept tradeoffs among objectives and regional allotments; and regional administrative costs. The results from an application of this model using information for Lao People's Democratic Republic show that simple poverty indicators alone do not provide consistent guidelines for policy. However, when different poverty indicators are embedded in an optimizing model that incorporates preferences and costs, the resulting provincial allocations are very similar. This suggests that adoption of a formal analytical approach to resource allocation can help promote the harmonization of regional policy guidelines.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3267.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3267
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  1. Behrman, Jere R & Pollak, Robert A & Taubman, Paul, 1982. "Parental Preferences and Provision for Progeny," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 52-73, February.
  2. Simler, Kenneth R. & Nhate, Virgulino, 2005. "Poverty, inequality, and geographic targeting," FCND briefs 192, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Dasgupta, Susmita & Deichmann, Uwe & Meisner, Craig & Wheeler, David, 2003. "The poverty/environment nexus in Cambodia and Lao People's Democratic Republic," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2960, The World Bank.
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