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Means Testing versus Universal Provision in Poverty Alleviation Programmes

Timothy Besley
Economica
New Series, Vol. 57, No. 225 (Feb., 1990), pp. 119-129
DOI: 10.2307/2554085
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2554085
Page Count: 11
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Means Testing versus Universal Provision in Poverty Alleviation Programmes
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Abstract

This paper contrasts the use of means-tested and universal schemes in the alleviation of poverty. Using a class of poverty measures, we illustrate the trade-off from that the fact that means testing is costly to both the government and the claimant, while universal provision entails a leakage to the non-poor. The paper provides numerical as well as analytical results.

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