Edited by John Weiss
Chapter 2: Poverty Targeting in India
2. Poverty targeting in India Pradeep Srivastava INTRODUCTION This chapter addresses two broad questions related to poverty alleviation in India: how much in aggregate does the government spend on povertytargeted programs and how effective have these programs been in targeting the poor and in alleviating poverty? The apparently straightforward query as to how much the country spends on poverty alleviation, and how the money is spent, has several complex answers. Like the proverbial elephant being explored by seven blind men, the answer depends on the slice put under the analytical lens. There are several reasons for this, starting from the fact that in intensely poor countries with pervasive poverty, it is arguably legitimate to characterize a vast spectrum, if not virtually most government intervention as poverty reducing. These can include in principle investments in social and human capital, physical infrastructure, or even regulatory reforms to enhance economic growth. A ﬁrst twist of the lens to focus on more direct poverty alleviation shows a great number of programs and interventions that may be characterized as broad or activity-targeting interventions, relying on broadly deﬁned targets wherein the beneﬁt incidence is expected to be higher for the poor than for the relatively better off. These typically include government expenditures on social sectors such as health and education, particularly primary education and basic health services. A further narrowing of the lens leads to a focus on government interventions that, within the broad spectrum of activities to reduce poverty, explicitly seek to target...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.