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Targeting the Poor Using Community Information

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  • Ashok S. Rai

Abstract

Governments and aid agencies target transfers to the poor, but audits to deter the rich are costly. This paper analyzes how community information can reduce targeting costs. If each community is given a hard budget constraint, then targeting costs can be substantially reduced by asking recipients to make reports about each other. Such a scheme is immune to collusion. Community information is of no help in targeting, however, if (a) it cannot be veri…ed by audits or (b) the government cannot commit to a hard budget constraint.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashok S. Rai, "undated". "Targeting the Poor Using Community Information," CID Working Papers 22, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:cidhav:22
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    File URL: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidwp/pdf/revised22.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dilip Mookherjee & Ivan Png, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415.
    2. Besley, T., 1988. "Workfare Vs. Welfare: Incentive Arguments For Work Requirements In Poverty Alleviation Programs," Papers 142, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
    3. Alderman, Harold, 2002. "Do local officials know something we don't? Decentralization of targeted transfers in Albania," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 375-404, March.
    4. Conning, Jonathan & Kevane, Michael, 2001. "Community based targeting mechanisms for social safety nets," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 23146, The World Bank.
    5. Matthew O. Jackson, 2001. "A crash course in implementation theory," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 18(4), pages 655-708.
    6. Ching-To Ma, 1988. "Unique Implementation of Incentive Contracts with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 555-572.
    7. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2000. "Distributional outcomes of a decentralized welfare program," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2316, The World Bank.
    8. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2005. "Decentralizing antipoverty program delivery in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 675-704, April.
    9. Chambers, Robert, 1994. "Participatory rural appraisal (PRA): Challenges, potentials and paradigm," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 1437-1454, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Targeting; Community Information; Audits; Collusion; Poverty.;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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