Access to Public Services in Sri Lanka: A Marginal Benefit Incidence Analysis

Sri Lanka Economic Journal, Vol. 4. No. 2, pp. 31-57, December 2003

Posted: 2 Aug 2004

Abstract

In its Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Sri Lankan government has clearly outlined the need to increase investment in the provision of public goods and services. An important challenge for policymakers will be to make sure that the poor benefit from better access to such services. For this, benchmarking information as to who is expected to benefit from an increase in access to services can be useful. This paper applies a methodology to assess with a single cross-section of data whether the poor are likely to benefit more or less than the non-poor from an expansion in access to public services and whether this depends on the existing level of access to the service provided. The results suggest that although there are important differences between different types of services, in many cases marginal benefit incidence tends to be more pro-poor than benefit incidence, especially once the non-poor already have high levels of access. By contrast, when access rates are relatively low, special efforts may be needed to ensure that the poor benefit from future increases in access.

Keywords: Poverty, incidence analysis, Sri Lanka, infrastructure

JEL Classification: R50, I38, H42

Suggested Citation

Ajwad, Mohamed Ihsan and Wodon, Quentin T., Access to Public Services in Sri Lanka: A Marginal Benefit Incidence Analysis. Sri Lanka Economic Journal, Vol. 4. No. 2, pp. 31-57, December 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=571582

Mohamed Ihsan Ajwad (Contact Author)

World Bank - Human Development ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-7861 (Phone)

Quentin T. Wodon

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-1446 (Phone)
202-522-0054 (Fax)

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