Income Distribution and Price Controls: Targeting a Social Safety Net During Economic Transition
During the ongoing post-communist economic transitions, the relative well-being of many people is changing rapidly, and governments are not well positioned to accurately measure individual living standards. Under such circumstances, continued price controls over basic consumer goods within the state sector, and the associated queuing, can form a serviceable device for targeting poor people for subsidies. With a fixed-price state sector and free-price parallel markets, rich people might choose to avoid queues and shop in the free markets, while poor people would prefer to pay low nominal prices and queue in the state sector. The targeting of subsidies through queues, therefore, can be accomplished even if the government has no information on individual income or living standards. When the alternative to price controls is a poorly targeted explicit social safety net, the resource cost of queues might be more than compensated for by an improvement in the targeting of subsidies.
|Date of creation:||01 Mar 1999|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 734 763-5020
Fax: 734 763-5850
Web page: http://www.wdi.umich.edu
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Barzel, Yoram, 1974. "A Theory of Rationing by Waiting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 73-95, April.
- 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.
- Alexeev, Michael & Kaganovich, Michael, 1995. "Distributional constraints on the speed of privatization," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 213-219, May.
- Berkowitz, Daniel, 1996. "On the persistence of rationing following liberalization: A theory for economies in transition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1259-1279, June.
- Polterovich, Victor, 1993. "Rationing, Queues, and Black Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 1-28, January.
- Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1989.
"Public Provision Of Private Goods And The Redistribution Of Income,"
36, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
- Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1991. "Public Provision of Private Goods and the Redistribution of Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 979-84, September.
- Boycko, Maxim, 1992. "When Higher Incomes Reduce Welfare: Queues, Labor Supply, and Macro Equilibrium in Socialist Economies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 907-20, August.
- Morduch, Jonathan & Brooks, Karen & Urinson, Yakov M, 1994. "Distributional Consequences of the Russian Price Liberalization," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(3), pages 469-83, April.
- Stahl, Dale II & Alexeev, Michael, 1985. "The influence of black markets on a queue-rationed centrally planned economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 234-250, August.
- Weitzman, Martin L, 1991. "Price Distortion and Shortage Deformation, or What Happened to the Soap?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 401-14, June.
- Osband, Kent, 1992. "Economic Crisis in a Shortage Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 673-90, August.
- Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1991.
"Pervasive Shortages Under Socialism,"
NBER Working Papers
3791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Atkinson,Anthony Barnes & Micklewright,John, 1992.
"Economic Transformation in Eastern Europe and the Distribution of Income,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521433297, October.
- Atkinson,Anthony Barnes & Micklewright,John, 1992. "Economic Transformation in Eastern Europe and the Distribution of Income," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521438827, October.
- Leitzel, Jim, 1998. " Goods Diversion and Repressed Inflation: Notes on the Political Economy of Price Liberalization," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(3-4), pages 255-66, March.
- Alexeev, Michael, 1991. "If market clearing prices are so good then why doesn't (almost) anybody want them?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 380-390, June.
- Sah, Raaj Kumar, 1987. "Queues, Rations, and Market: Comparisons of Outcomes for the Poor and the Rich," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 69-77, March.
- Jim Leitzel, 1998. "Goods diversion and repressed inflation: Notes on the political economy of price liberalization," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 255-266, March.
- Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Workfare versus Welfare Incentive Arguments for Work Requirements in Poverty-Alleviation Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 249-61, March.
- Prell, Mark A., 1996. "Which Allocation System Is More Effective in Getting a Commodity to Those Who Need It Most?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 165-178, April.
- Murrell, Peter & Dunn, Karen Turner & Korsun, Georges, 1996. "The Culture of Policy-Making in the Transition from Socialism: Price Policy in Mongolia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 175-94, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:1999-281. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Laurie Gendron)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.