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Di Bao : a guaranteed minimum income in urban China?

  • Chen, Shaohua
  • Ravallion, Martin
  • Wang, Youjuan

Concerns about incentives and targeting naturally arise when cash transfers are used to fight poverty. The authors address these concerns in the context of China's Di Bao program, which uses means-tested transfers to try to assure that no registered urban resident has an income below a stipulated poverty line. There is little sign in the data of poverty traps due to high benefit withdrawal rates. Targeting performance is excellent by various measures. Di Bao appears to be better targeted than any other program in the developing world. However, all but one measure of targeting performance is found to be uninformative, or even deceptive, about impacts on poverty. The authors find that the majority of the poor are not receiving help, even with a generous allowance for measurement errors. While on paper, Di Bao would eliminate urban poverty, it falls well short of that ideal in practice.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3805.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3805
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  1. Ravallion, 1999. "Monitoring targeting performance when decentralized allocation to the poor are unobserved," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2080, The World Bank.
  2. David Coady, 2004. "Targeting Outcomes Redux," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 61-85.
  3. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael & Tuomala, Matti, 1994. "Labor Supply and Targeting in Poverty Alleviation Programs," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(2), pages 191-211, May.
  4. Giovanni Andrea Cornia & Frances Stewart, 1993. "Two Errors of Targeting," Papers iopeps93/54, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
  5. Jyotsna Jalan & Martin Ravallion, 2000. "Estimating the Benefit Incidence of an Antipoverty Program by Propensity Score Matching," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0873, Econometric Society.
  6. Jenkins, Stephen, 1988. "Calculating Income Distribution Indices from Micro-Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(1), pages 139-42, March.
  7. Martin Ravallion & Gaurav Datt, 1995. "Is Targeting Through a Work Requirement Efficient? Some Evidence for Rural India," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-41, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  8. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 2007. "China's (uneven) progress against poverty," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 1-42, January.
  9. Coady, David P. & Grosh, Margaret & Hoddinott, John, 2002. "Targeting outcomes redux," FCND discussion papers 144, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  10. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  11. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Decentralized targeting of an antipoverty program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 705-727, April.
  12. Martin Ravallion & Emanuela Galasso & Teodoro Lazo & Ernesto Philipp, 2005. "What Can Ex-Participants Reveal about a Program’s Impact?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
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