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Targeting and Coverage of the Bolsa Família Programme: Why Knowing What You Measure Is Important In Choosing the Numbers

By Sergei Suarez Dillon Soares, Rafael Perez Ribas and Fabio Veras Soares

Abstract

The trade-off between targeting and coverage has always been something of a quandary for progressive cash transfers, particularly those that are not entitlements. Undue inclusion errors mean that families or individuals whose need is not so great are being paid at the expense of either taxpayers or other budgetary priorities. Undue exclusion errors mean that those who are in need, sometimes in desperate need, are not being helped by the state. This trade-off is somewhat less extreme for entitlements. If the law says that families whose income is less than a quarter of a minimum wage are entitled to a given cash allowance, then all those whose income falls under that line should receive the allowance. There is still a trade-off because measurement error still occurs, but the discussion centres only on the inclusion criteria. Most conditional cash transfers (CCTs), however, are not entitlements. (...)Targeting and Coverage of the Bolsa Família Programme: Why Knowing What You Measure Is Important In Choosing the Numbers

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