CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

CEQ Working Paper No 27: Public Transfers and Poverty Reduction

Public Transfers and Poverty Reduction: An Evaluation of Program Contribution to the Exit Rate from Poverty of Children and the Elderly
Working Paper No. 27

A working document by:
Marisa Bucheli
Professor at the Department of Economics, Universidad de la Republica in Uruguay

In Uruguay, social spending reduces poverty. The aim of this paper is to compare its performance for children and the elderly. The main motivation is that in Uruguay, as in the rest of Latin America, poverty affects mostly children, even after the recent period of fall in poverty. The methodological strategy consists on the estimation of the effect of transfers on the poverty exit rate and its decomposition in the coverage effect and the amount effect. The main conclusions are as follows: a) households with children (elder) are less (more) likely to leave poverty, b) the reason is the per capita amount of the transfer received by each household type and not the coverage, c) the effectiveness of the amount is lower for households with children than with elders because poverty is more intense for the former, d) households in the same poverty conditions are less likely to be lifted out of poverty when they are composed by children than by elders because the conditional transfers directed to children are lower than the assistance pensions for the elders.

Access the working document here:
Updated January 2015
CEQ Working Paper No 27: Public Transfers and Poverty Reduction