Building a Targeting System for Bangladesh based on Proxy Means Testing

This paper develops and discusses a Proxy Means Test (PMT) based household targeting system for Bangladesh.  The PMT model derived from household survey data includes observable and verifiable characteristics on (i) household demographics and characteristics of household head; (ii) ownership of assets; (iii) housing quality, and access to facilities and remittances; and (iv) location variables in a formal algorithm to proxy household welfare. Simulations of the model suggest that the proposed PMT formula is able to improve the targeting efficiency a considerable amount when compared to existing targeted safety net programs. However, numerous implementation challenges remain which include but are not limited to a cost-efficient data collection process, effective management of information and a feasible and cost-efficient monitoring and verification system to minimize fraud and leakage.

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