Targeting the Poor

SUMMARY

Developing economies face special challenges in delivering social protection

 
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Targeting the Poor Developing economies face special challenges in delivering social protection

Rema Hanna, Adnan Khan, and Benjamin Olken

Many people believe that social protection generally involves rich countries aiding those that are poor. Aid is important, particularly for extremely poor countries. Bad shocks can quickly devolve into humanitarian disasters and promote conflict in fragile states, as seen with the current famine in South Sudan, the incipient famine and cholera in Yemen, and the recent Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

But for the 108 countries the World Bank classifies as "upper-middle" or "lower-middle" income—for example, India, Morocco, and Peru—overall tax revenue now dwarfs development assistance. Given that growth has been accompanied by increases in global inequality, it is not surprising that redistribution is increasingly taking...

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