The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Poverty Alleviation Programmes

  • Martin Ravallion
Reference work entry


This article reviews the issues and evidence concerning a class of policies that aim to reduce poverty by providing direct current relief to those in need and/or by compensating for market and governmental failures that help perpetuate poverty. The article focuses on programmes found in developing countries. Poverty proxies or self-targeting mechanisms are typically used and the specific policies discussed include contingent transfers, community-based programmes, social funds and workfare programmes.


Affirmative action Agency costs Conditional transfers Deadweight losses Equity–efficiency trade-off Factor mobility Indicator-based targeting Intrahousehold welfare Learning-by-doing Poverty alleviation programmes Poverty proxies Poverty traps Programme evaluation Redistribution of income Workfare 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Ravallion
    • 1
  1. 1.