This publication brings together empirical evidence on subsidy performance across a wide range of countries. It documents the prevalence of consumer subsidies, provides a typology of the many variants found in the developing world and presents several indicators useful in assessing the degree to which such subsidies benefit the poor. It focuses on three key concepts: beneficiary incidence, benefit incidence, and materiality. Findings on subsidy performance will be useful to policymakers, utility regulators and sector practitioners who are considering introducing, eliminating or modifying utility subsidies, and to those who view consumer utility subsidies as a social protection instrument.

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