Equity in Poverty Program Evaluations
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Poverty-reducing programs often use indicators other than household income to transfer resources to the poor which has important implications in terms of equity of the program. This paper offers a decomposition methodology to analyze the horizontal and vertical equity components of a redistribution policy for subgroups defined according to policy-relevant characteristics. Our measures are derived by comparing the cost of inequality in terms of equally distributed equivalent poverty gaps in the pre-transfer income and post-transfer income distributions. An application to the poverty-reducing program Oportunidades in Mexico in 2006 reveals that the use of indicator variables more strongly correlated with pre-transfer incomes in rural households can improve the redistributive effect while it also points out the difficulties of the program in targeting different levels of support among the poor, both within and between groups. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.