NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Dominique van de Walle

World Bank
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Institutional Affiliation: World Bank

NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2017Are Poor Individuals Mainly Found in Poor Households? Evidence using Nutrition Data for Africa
with Caitlin S. Brown, Martin Ravallion: w24047
Antipoverty policies assume that targeting poor households suffices in reaching poor individuals. We question this assumption. Our comprehensive assessment for sub-Saharan Africa reveals that undernourished women and children are spread widely across the household wealth and consumption distributions. Roughly three-quarters of underweight women and undernourished children are not found in the poorest 20% of households, and around half are not found in the poorest 40%. Countries with higher undernutrition tend to have higher shares of undernourished individuals in non-poor households. The results are consistent with intra-household inequality but other factors also appear to be at work including common health risks.
December 2016A Poor Means Test? Econometric Targeting in Africa
with Caitlin Brown, Martin Ravallion: w22919
Proxy-means testing is a popular method of poverty targeting with imperfect information. In a now widely-used version, a regression for log consumption calibrates a proxy-means test score based on chosen covariates, which is then implemented for targeting out-of-sample. In this paper, the performance of various proxy-means testing methods is assessed using data for nine African countries. Standard proxy-means testing helps filter out the nonpoor, but excludes many poor people, thus diminishing the impact on poverty. Some methodological changes perform better, with a poverty-quantile method dominating in most cases. Even so, either a basic-income scheme or transfers using a simple demographic scorecard are found to do as well, or almost as well, in reducing poverty. However, even with a bud...

Published: Caitlin Brown & Martin Ravallion & Dominique van de Walle, 2018. "A poor means test? Econometric targeting in Africa," Journal of Development Economics, . citation courtesy of

 
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