Person:
Grosh, Margaret

Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice
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Social safety nets, Poverty analysis, Labor markets, Social protection
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Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
Biography
Margaret Grosh is the Senior Advisor for the World Bank’s Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice. She has written, lectured, and advised extensively on social protection programs, especially on targeting and cash transfer programs, globally and for Latin America. She has extensive experience with social protection both for responding to a crisis and for improving equality of opportunity. Earlier, she served as Lead Economist in the Latin American and Caribbean Region’s Human Development Department, led the team for Social Assistance in the World Bank’s Global Social Protection Department and, before that, the Living Standard Measurement Study in the Research Department. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University.

Publication Search Results

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Targeting Methods for Transfers

2003-01, Grosh, Margaret, Hoddinott, John

Of the commonly used methods for directing transfers to the poor, there is little consensus about which is best. Policymakers need to know how effective different targeting mechanisms are, how the effectiveness differs by method and type of program, and the implications. Targeting success can be partially captured by one outcome indicator, the share of benefits going to the bottom 40 per cent of the population. For example, if a program delivers 60 per cent of its benefits to this group, the outcome indicator is (60 divided by 40 =) 1.5. The higher the indicator - i.e., the greater the percentage of benefits going to the poor relative to their population share - the more progressive is the targeting. The authors calculate their indicator for 85 of the programs in the database. The full study provides information on the use of targeting techniques, summary statistics on comparative program performance, and regression analysis to examine the correlations between methods and outcomes. The study drew broad conclusions, subject to the limitations described beforehand, suggesting that "Targeting can work, but it doesn't always. There is no clearly preferred method for all types of programs, or all country contexts. A weak ranking of outcomes achieved by different mechanisms was possible. And, implementation matters tremendously to outcomes". Targeting performance improved with country income levels, the extent to which governments are held accountable for their actions, and the degree of inequality.

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Targeting of Transfers in Developing Countries : Review of Lessons and Experience

2004, Coady, David, Grosh, Margaret, Hoddinott, John

Drawing on a database of more than one hundred anti-poverty interventions in 47 countries, this report provides a general review of experiences with methods used to target interventions in transition and developing countries. Written for policymakers and program managers in developing countries, in donor agencies, and in nongovernmental organizations who have responsibility for designing interventions that reach the poor, it conveys what targeting options are available, what results can be expected as well as information that will assist in choosing among them and in their implementation. Key messages are: 1) While targeting "works" - the median program transfers 25 percent more to the poor than would a universal allocation - targeting performance around the world is highly variable. 2) Means testing, geographic targeting, and self-selection based on a work requirement are the most robustly progressive methods. Proxy means testing, community-based selection of individuals and demographic targeting to children show good results on average, but with considerable variation. Demographic targeting to the elderly, community bidding, and self-selection based on consumption show limited potential for good targeting. 3) There is no single preferred method for all types of programs or all country contexts. Successful targeting depends critically on how a method is implemented.