Publication: Geographic Inequity in a Decentralized Anti-Poverty Program : A Case Study of China
The central governments of many developing countries have chosen to decentralize their anti-poverty programs, in the expectation that local agents are better informed about local needs. The paper shows that this potential advantage of decentralized eligibility criteria can come at a large cost, to the extent that the induced geographic inequities undermine performance in reaching the income- poor nationally. These issues are studied empirically for (probably) the largest transfer-based poverty program in the world, namely China's Di Bao program, which aims to assure a minimum income through means-tested transfers. Poor municipalities are found to adopt systematically lower eligibility thresholds, reducing the program's ability to reach poor areas, and generating considerable horizontal inequity.
“Ravallion, Martin. 2007. Geographic Inequity in a Decentralized Anti-Poverty Program : A Case Study of China. Policy Research Working Paper; No. 4303. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/entities/publication/6538cb06-09ed-5524-95ee-ab4755865f16 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
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