Minimum income in a transition economy

A pro-poor measure or a poor safety net?


  • The authors wish to thank Luc Behaghel, Helena Ferreira Marques, Luca Piccoli, Xisco Olivier, Martin Ravallion and one anonymous referee for their useful comments and suggestions. They are also grateful to Emil D. Tesliuc (The World Bank), Vilma Kolpeja (The National Albanian Centre for Social Studies) and Mimi Kodheli (Albanian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs) for the detailed information provided on the Ndhime Ekonomika programme. Lucia Mangiavacchi acknowledges financial support from the Spanish Government (Grant ECO2011-28999). All errors are our own.


The Albanian Ndihma Ekonomike is one of the first poverty reduction programmes launched in transitional economies. Its record has been judged positively during the recession period of the 1990s and negatively during the more recent growth phase. This article reconsiders the programme using a regression-adjusted local linear matching estimator first suggested by Heckman et al. (1997, 1998). We find the programme to have a weak targeting capacity and a non-significant impact on different household outcomes.