Does public spending help the poor? Are there ways--such as finer targeting--to improve the impact of public spending on the poor? These are the questions at the heart of the research reported in this volume. These are indeed important questions--public spending net of interest payments typically amounts to 20-25 percent of GNP and therefore has the potential to influence poverty significantly. Yet at the same time, demands on limited public resources are increasing, so getting more from less--as in targeting--becomes essential. Although definitive and universal policy conclusions are elusive, the reader who recognizes the complexity of the issues, who is sensitive to the data limitations, and who wants to learn how to make better decisions in the future, will reap enormous benefit from this volume. Contributors are Dominique van de Walle, Amartya Sen, Anthony B. Atkinson, Richard Cornes, Ravi Kanbur, Michael Keen, Matti Tuomala, Mark M. Pitt, Mark R. Rosenzweig, Donna M. Gibbons, Thomas M. Selden, Michael J. Wasylenko, Harold Alderman, Jere R. Behrman, Shahrukh Khan, David R. Ross, Richard Sabot, Sarah J. Jarvis, John Micklewright, Donald Cox, Emmanuel Jimenez, Giovanni Andrea Cornia, Frances Stewart, David E. Sahn, Harold Alderman, Martin Ravallion, Gaurav Datt, Margaret E. Grosh, Branko Milanovic, Jeffrey Hammer, Ijaz Nabi, James Cercone, Simon Appleton, and Paul Collier.