Journal Article

The Potential and Limitations of Self-Targeted Food Subsidies

Harold Alderman and Kathy Lindert

in The World Bank Research Observer

Published on behalf of World Bank

Volume 13, issue 2, pages 213-229
Published in print August 1998 | ISSN: 0257-3032
Published online August 1998 | e-ISSN: 1564-6971 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/wbro/13.2.213
The Potential and Limitations of Self-Targeted Food Subsidies

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Can self-selection ofsubsidized commodities be used as a mechanism to transfer income to the poor? Evidence from two self-targeting programs, one in South Africa and one in Tunisia, shows that although self-targeting can clearly improve the distribution of food subsidies to the poorest members of society, its power to alleviate poverty and reduce income disparities is limited by preference patterns, income inequality, and the size of the individual subsidies. Self-targeting through quality and product differentiation can be a useful means to reform existing universal subsidy schemes, but it should be considered a transitional tool while the capacity for implementing more precise mecha nisms is developed.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Development Planning and Policy

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