Evaluating the performance of means-tested benefits in Bulgaria
Using household survey data and microsimulation techniques, we analyse the performance of three means-tested benefits in Bulgaria. We find that the transfers reach a small proportion of households with incomes below a relative poverty line, they have high non take-up rates, and large proportions of the recipients are neither poor nor entitled to receive the benefits. Unsurprisingly, although an important income source for poor households, the benefits have a very small impact on reducing the poverty rates. We show that our results are robust to potential underreporting of benefit receipt in the household survey. Finally, we analyse the effect of five reform scenarios, one of which fiscally neutral, on poverty and find that there is a large scope for policy improvement.
Journal of Comparative Economics
Volume and page numbers
44 , 919 -935
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