INTRODUCTION

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This chapter examines the efforts of the Thai government to direct particular

categories of government expenditures preferentially towards the poor.

The government professes an interest in doing this and the chapter aims

to determine empirically whether this is being achieved by focusing on the

geographic distribution of this expenditure across provinces. We begin with

a review of the characteristics of poverty in Thailand. We then summarize

government policies with respect to poverty reduction and present estimates

of the magnitude of poverty-related expenditures. The overall distributional

effects of general categories of government expenditures are reviewed fi rst,

before we consider the effects of the specifi c category of poverty reduction

expenditures. The focus is geographic targeting, in the sense of allocation

of expenditures between provinces, as there is insuffi cient data to allow an

assessment of intra-provincial allocations.