The poverty targeting of social spending in Brazil

Type Journal Article
Title The poverty targeting of social spending in Brazil
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2003
This paper focuses on the analysis of spending incidence for the bottom quintile of the Brazilian population. The bottom quintile roughly corresponds to the poor as they were recently identified by applying a food-only poverty line of R$65 per capita per month to household income data from the 1996 PNAD household survey. This poverty line produces a national headcount poverty rate of 22.6% (Ferreira, Lanjouw, and Neri, 1998). A poverty line of R$130 per capita per month corresponds roughly to the bottom two quintiles and results in a national headcount poverty rate of 45.3%. This paper uses data from the Pesquisa Sore Padrões de Vida (PPV), a household survey similar to the Living Standard Measurement Survey supported in many countries by the World Bank, and conducted in 1996- 97 by Brazil’s national statistics agency, IBGE, to assess the poverty targeting of Government social spending in Brazil. IBGE implemented the PPV or Survey on Living Standards in 1996 and 1997, with assistance from the World Bank. The aim of the PPV is to supplement the information already available through IBGE’s annual household survey, the PNAD, in order to improve the data available for poverty monitoring and policy analysis in Brazil. The PNAD has a number of strengths. It utilizes a large sample and allows compari- sons over time, due to continuity in the basic core of the questionnaire. The PNAD’s core has a strong focus on income and employment issues, and also contains questions relating to education, housing ownership and conditions, migration, access to services, and ownership of durable goods. The survey also includes additional questions on special topics that vary from year to year. However, the PNAD provides little infor- mation on household expenditures and con- sumption patterns, health status and health service utilization, and transportation usage. Although it asks questions regarding house- hold members’ educational levels and school attendance, the PNAD does not dis- tinguish between public and private school attendance; this makes it an inadequate source of information on the distribution of public education subsidies.

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