In this study, we focused on child poverty and examined the targeting performance of governmental cash benefits in Taiwan, and whether they successfully alleviate child poverty when budget constraints are imposed. We employed data from the cross-sectional Survey of Family Income and Expenditure 2010, which was conducted by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics of the Executive Yuan in Taiwan. We investigated efficiency and effectiveness, using the IRIS, Beckerman, and Shapley approaches, to measure targeting performance. The results suggest that few transfer programmes perform well in terms of both target efficiency and effectiveness; this generates trade-offs and paradoxes between efficiency or effectiveness, undercoverage or leakage, vertical or horizontal efficiency, and universal or selective benefits. We conclude by suggesting social policy implications based on the findings.
Key Practitioner Message: • Using different approach (targeting performance) to analyse child poverty; • Using targeting efficiency and effectiveness to analyse whether governmental cash benefits ameliorate child poverty given specific budget constraints.