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Finding the poor vs. measuring their poverty : exploring the drivers of targeting effectiveness in Indonesia

Author

Listed:
  • Bah,Adama Bari
  • Bazzi,Samuel Ali
  • Sumarto,Sudarno
  • Tobias,Julia

Abstract

Centralized targeting registries are increasingly used to allocate social assistance benefits in developing countries. There are two key design issues that matter for targeting accuracy: (i) which households to survey for inclusion in the registry and (ii) how to rank surveyed households. The authors attempt to identify their relative importance by evaluating Indonesia's Unified Database for Social Protection Programs (UDB), among the largest targeting registries in the world, used to provide social assistance to over 25 million households. Linking administrative data with an independent household survey, they find that the UDB system is more progressive than previous, program-specific targeting approaches. However, simulating an alternative targeting system based on enumerating all households, they find a one-third reduction in undercoverage of the poor compared to focusing on households registered in the UDB. Overall, there are large gains in targeting performance from improving the initial registration stage relative to the ranking stage.

Suggested Citation

  • Bah,Adama Bari & Bazzi,Samuel Ali & Sumarto,Sudarno & Tobias,Julia, 2018. "Finding the poor vs. measuring their poverty : exploring the drivers of targeting effectiveness in Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8342, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:8342
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bazzi, Samuel & Sumarto, Sudarno & Suryahadi, Asep, 2015. "It's all in the timing: Cash transfers and consumption smoothing in a developing country," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 267-288.
    2. David Coady & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2004. "On the Targeting and Redistributive Efficiencies of Alternative Transfer Instruments," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(1), pages 11-27, March.
    3. Vivi Alatas & Abhijit Banerjee & Rema Hanna & Benjamin A. Olken & Julia Tobias, 2012. "Targeting the Poor: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1206-1240, June.
    4. repec:aea:apandp:v:109:y:2019:p:334-39 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Paul Niehaus & Antonia Atanassova & Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2013. "Targeting with Agents," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 206-238, February.
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    7. Vivi Alatas & Abhijit Banerjee & Rema Hanna & Benjamin A. Olken & Ririn Purnamasari & Matthew Wai-Poi, 2019. "Does Elite Capture Matter? Local Elites and Targeted Welfare Programs in Indonesia," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 109, pages 334-339, May.
    8. Christophe Muller & Sami Bibi, 2010. "Refining Targeting against Poverty Evidence from Tunisia," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(3), pages 381-410, June.
    9. Sudarno Sumarto & Daniel Suryadarma & Asep Suryahadi, 2007. "Predicting Consumption Poverty using Non-Consumption Indicators: Experiments using Indonesian Data," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 81(3), pages 543-578, May.
    10. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Davis, Benjamin & de la Vega, Sergio, 2001. "Targeting the Poor in Mexico: An Evaluation of the Selection of Households into PROGRESA," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1769-1784, October.
    11. Adriana Camacho & Emily Conover, 2011. "Manipulation of Social Program Eligibility," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 41-65, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Adama Bah & Suahasil Nazara & Elan Satriawan, 2015. "Registro Único de Indonesia para los programas de protección social," Policy Research Brief 49, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    2. Christophe Muller, 2018. "Optimal Cash Transfers with Distribution Regressions: An Application to Egypt at the Dawn of the XXIst Century," Working Papers halshs-01684570, HAL.
    3. Tohari, Achmad & Parsons, Christopher & Rammohan, Anu, 2017. "Targeting Poverty under Complementarities: Evidence from Indonesia's Unified Targeting System," IZA Discussion Papers 10968, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Adama Bah & Suahasil Nazara & Elan Satriawan, 2015. "Le registre unique indonésien à l?usage des programmes de protection sociale," Policy Research Brief (French) 49, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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