Electricity Usage as A Proxy Indicator For Poverty Targeting
D. Gunewardena ,
University of Peradeniya, LK
Department of Economics and Statistics, Faculty of Arts
Senior Research Analyst, Verité Research 5A, Police Park Place, Colombo, LK
This perspective demonstrates that household electricity usage is a good proxy for poverty and a quick, efficient, and effective targeting mechanism for welfare benefits. As Sri Lanka’s economic crisis continues, up to 50% or more of the population will likely need state support, yet the existing welfare benefit scheme falls far short of its goals. Current targeting through Samurdhi reaches just about a quarter of all households and only 40% of the poorest decile of individuals. The analysis presented in this perspective shows that the alternative of using a threshold of 60kwh of electricity usage per month as a preliminary eligibility criterion will reach approximately 50% of the population and over 80% of the poorest among them and performs best among a set of alternatives, including Samurdhi.
How to Cite:
Gunewardena, D. and Siyambalapitiya, S., 2023. Electricity Usage as A Proxy Indicator For Poverty Targeting. Sri Lanka Journal of Economic Research, 10(2), pp.115–125. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljer.v10i2.186
03 Feb 2023.