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Targeting food subsidies for the needy : the use of cost-benefit analysis and institutional design (English)

This paper summarizes the experience of several countries in setting-up food distribution programs, from untargeted food subsidies schemes to targeted systems like ration shops strategically located, self-targeting by commodity, and food stamp programs to the highly targeted special intervention nutrition programs. A main contribution of the paper to the literature on this topic is the construction and actual implementation of a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate food policy systems. Starting from a concept of consumer surplus, a derived distribution scheme is applied to compute the social consumer surplus. The social producer surplus is also computed to measure the impact of the different schemes on domestic farmers. Finally, the different costs of running the system from food costs to administrative costs are considered. The second major contribution is a detailed description of the institutional design and a critical evaluation of the systems that have been implemented in several countries following a typology developed in the paper.


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    MATEUS, A. EM 2

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    Staff Working Paper

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    Sri Lanka,



  • Region

    Latin America & Caribbean, East Asia and Pacific, South Asia,

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    Targeting food subsidies for the needy : the use of cost-benefit analysis and institutional design

  • Keywords

    food subsidies;targeted food;food distribution;food coupon system;ration shop;health status;nutrition intervention;target system;cost of medical care;abstracts of current studies;marginal propensity to save;impact on income distribution;nutritional status of child;political economy of reform;water supply and sewerage;nutrition program;food stamp;vulnerable group;budgetary cost;school feeding program;balance of payment;food supplement;overhead cost;nutrition education;investments in education;intervention programs;cost of care;small scale farming;health care system;potable water supply;reduction in poverty;standard of living;high infant mortality;security of food;Center Research;effect on employment;investments in agriculture;community health services;reduction in subsidies;data on income;demand for food;social accounting matrix;general equilibrium model;stabilization of price;increase in labor;increase in expenditure;national health care;food stamp program;expenditure on food;rate of inflation;education and health;per capita income;primary school system;income tax schedule;life expectancy rate;exchange rate policy;food distribution scheme;change of behaviour;public sector procurement;public distribution system;Health Service Delivery;community nutrition workers;rural extension service;alternative delivery system;Exchange rate policies;rural area;auxiliary nurse;income elasticity;community involvement;weaning food;open market;producer surplus;food price;market mechanism;food import;government expenditure;food habit;health post;pregnant woman;current expenditure;nutrition surveillance;institutional design;administrative cost;nutrition status;relative price;income class;redistributive element;distribution cost;budget expenditure;nutrition level;ration system;world price;output ratio;Rural Sector;food preparation;regional targeting;innovative feature;targeted program;producer incentive;basic food;inflationary pressure;wheat flour;food technology;financial resource;food production;domestic saving;urban unemployment;food ration;producer price;young child;teaching activity;vulnerable family;fair price;alternative program;poor health;diarrheal disease;weight gain;financial cost;National Institutions;institution building;inferior good;village nutrition;malnourished child;agricultural production;central department;private trade;retail trade;social policy;free ration;food commodity;human need;optimization model;subsidy scheme;audit system;Learning and Innovation Credit;school day;care delivery;social policies;state revenue;standard requirement;audit staff;fixed value;budgetary terms;retail price;beneficiary pay;rural family;poverty threshold;household income;cash equivalent;buying power;children of ages;home feeding;simulation model;dried fish;condensed milk;nutrition institute;ideal system;price support;agricultural commodity;producer subsidy;international trading;rice price;rice production;positive impact;cooperative societies;village area;land settlement;caloric consumption;determinant factor;raw material;local cooperatives;employment increase;urban work;allocation system;nutritional risk;low-income community;budgetary effect;macroeconomic consequence;productive capacity;consumption habit;temporary measure;urban poor;adequate nutrition;compensatory mechanism;low-income group;child malnutrition;cost-benefit analysis;food cost;child weight;population census;rural worker;mental development;community group;consumption expenditure;political problem;human infrastructure;human capital;Income policies;income policy;social optimum;drop-out rate;Early childhood;nutrition improvement;nutrition problem;urban agricultural policy;community level;family gardens;primary level;international donor;food manufacturer;fiscal system;Public Goods;low-income area;external assistance;international community;Child Mortality;capital expenditure;reducing mortality;consumer subsidy;dual economy;government fund;investment increase;human dignity;health records



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Targeting food subsidies for the needy : the use of cost-benefit analysis and institutional design (English). Staff working paper ; no. SWP 617 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.