The value of data matching for public poverty initiatives: a local voucher program example

Paper by Sarah Giest, Jose M. Miotto and Wessel Kraaij: “The recent surge of data-driven methods in social policy have created new opportunities to assess existing poverty programs. The expectation is that the combination of advanced methods and more data can calculate the effectiveness of public interventions more accurately and tailor local initiatives accordingly. Specifically, nonmonetary indicators are increasingly being measured at micro levels in order to target social exclusion in combination with poverty. However, the multidimensional character of poverty, local context, and data matching pose challenges to data-driven analyses. By linking Dutch household-level data with policy-initiative-specific data at local level, we present an explorative study on the uptake of a local poverty pass. The goal is to unravel pass usage in terms of household income and location as well as the age of users. We find that income and age play a role in whether the pass is used, and usage differs per neighborhood. With this, the paper feeds into the discourse on how to operationalize and design data matching work in the multidimensional space of poverty and nonmonetary government initiatives….(More)”.