Targeting the Poor: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia
Author(s)Alatas, Vivi; Banerjee, Abhijit
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This paper reports an experiment in 640 Indonesian villages on three approaches to target the poor: proxy means tests (PMT), where assets are used to predict consumption; community targeting, where villagers rank everyone from richest to poorest; and a hybrid. Defining poverty based on PPP$2 per capita consumption, community targeting and the hybrid perform somewhat worse in identifying the poor than PMT, though not by enough to significantly affect poverty outcomes for a typical program. Elite capture does not explain these results. Instead, communities appear to apply a different concept of poverty. Consistent with this finding, community targeting results in higher satisfaction.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Economics
American Economic Review
American Economic Association
Alatas, Vivi et al. “Targeting the Poor: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia.” American Economic Review 102.4 (2012): 1206–1240.
Final published version