Icon Our WorkThe Political Economy of ‘Targeting’ of Social Security Schemes

Don’t target ‘the poor’ if you really want to help ‘the poor’

 In this edition of our Pathways Perspectives, Stephen Kidd examines the evidence on the political economy of ‘targeting’.

By first examining the history behind social security in developed countries, and then looking at contemporary tax-financed social security schemes in both developed and developing countries, Stephen demonstrates how the targeting design of a social security programme can influence both political commitment and the value of transfers.

The paper helps in explaining why “programmes for the poor tend to be poor programmes”.