Standard benefit-incidence analysis does not distinguish policy impacts on persistent poverty from transient poverty. We offer an alternative approach, based on actual and simulated joint distributions of consumption over time, which allows us to distinguish the extent of 'protection' against poverty from 'promotion' out of poverty. The approach is illustrated by an analysis of the distributional impact of changes in cash benefits introduced to compensate for other policy reforms in Hungary. Cash benefits protected many from poverty, but promoted few out of poverty. The safety net's impact on poverty was largely due to higher average outlays, rather than improved targeting.
This work is a product of the staff of The World Bank with external contributions. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this work do not necessarily reflect the views of The World Bank, its Board of Executive Directors, or the governments they represent. The World Bank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work. The boundaries, colors, denominations, and other information shown on any map in this work do not imply any judgment on the part of The World Bank concerning the legal status of any territory or the endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries. Nothing herein shall constitute or be considered to be a limitation upon or waiver of the privileges and immunities of The World Bank, all of which are specifically reserved.
This article provides evidence from one of the poorest countries in the world that the institutions of property rights matter for efficiency, investment, and growth. With all land state-owned, the threat of land redistribution never appears far off the agenda. Land rental and leasing have been made legal, but transfer rights remain restricted and the perception of continuing tenure insecurity remains quite strong. Using a unique panel data set, this study investigates whether transfer rights and implied tenure insecurity affect household investment decisions, focusing on trees and shrubs. The panel data estimates suggest that limited perceived transfer rights negatively affects the long-term investment in Ethiopian agriculture, contributing to the low returns from land and perpetuating low growth and poverty.JEL classifications: O13, O17, Q15
The Policy Research Working Paper Series disseminates the findings of work in progress to encourage the exchange of ideas about development issues. An objective of the series is to get the findings out quickly, even if the presentations are less than fully polished. The papers carry the names of the authors and should be cited accordingly. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this paper are entirely those of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the views of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/World Bank and its affiliated organizations, or those of the Executive Directors of the World Bank or the governments they represent.
India has pursued an active food security policy for many years using a combination of trade policy interventions, public distribution of food staples, and assistance to farmers through minimum support prices defended by public stocks. This policy has been quite successful in stabilizing staple food prices, but at a high cost, and with potential risks of unmanageable stock accumulation. Based on a rational expectations storage model representing the Indian wheat market and its relation to the rest of the world, we analyse the cost and welfare implications of this policy and unpack the contribution of its different elements. To analyse alternative policies, we assume that social welfare includes an objective of price stabilization and assess optimal policies corresponding to this objective. We consider fully optimal policies under commitment as well as optimal simple rules and show that adopting simple rules can achieve most of the gains from fully optimal policies. JEL classification: F13, O13, Q11, Q17, Q18.
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