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Cash transfers and high food prices: Explaining outcomes on Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme

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  • Sabates-Wheeler, Rachel
  • Devereux, Stephen
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    Abstract

    An ongoing and highly politicised debate concerns the relative efficacy of cash transfers versus food aid. This paper aims to shed light on this debate, drawing on new empirical evidence from Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP). Our data derive from a two-wave panel survey conducted in 2006 and 2008. Ethiopia has experienced unprecedented rates of inflation since 2007, which have reduced the real purchasing power of PSNP cash payments. Our regression findings confirm that food transfers or 'cash plus food' packages are superior to cash transfers alone - they enable higher levels of income growth, livestock accumulation and self-reported food security. These results raise questions of fundamental importance to global humanitarian response and social protection policy. We draw out some implications for the design of social transfer programmes and describe some steps that could be taken to enable 'predictable transfers to meet predictable needs'.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 274-285

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:35:y:2010:i:4:p:274-285

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

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    Keywords: Cash transfers Food security Inflation Ethiopia Social protection;

    References

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    1. Benson, Todd & Minot, Nicholas & Pender, John & Robles, Miguel & von Braun, Joachim, 2008. "Global food crises: Monitoring and assessing impact to inform policy responses," Food policy reports 19, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Ayele Gelan, 2006. "Cash or Food Aid? A General Equilibrium Analysis for Ethiopia," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 24(5), pages 601-624, 09.
    3. Stefan Tangermann, 2008. "Agricultural Commodity Prices: Perspectives and Policies," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 7(SpecialIs), pages 36-43, 08.
    4. Emebet Kebede, 2006. "Moving from Emergency Food Aid to Predictable Cash Transfers: Recent Experience in Ethiopia," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 24(5), pages 579-599, 09.
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    Cited by:
    1. Headey, Derek D. & Bachewe, Fantu Nisrane & Worku, Ibrahim & Dereje, Mekdim & Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum, 2012. "Urban wage behavior and food price inflation: the case of Ethiopia [Working Paper]:," ESSP working papers 41, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Gentilini, Ugo & Omamo, Steven Were, 2011. "Social protection 2.0: Exploring issues, evidence and debates in a globalizing world," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 329-340, June.
    3. Fujii, Tomoki, 2013. "Impact of food inflation on poverty in the Philippines," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 13-27.
    4. Rawlins, Rosemary & Pimkina, Svetlana & Barrett, Christopher B. & Pedersen, Sarah & Wydick, Bruce, 2014. "Got milk? The impact of Heifer International’s livestock donation programs in Rwanda on nutritional outcomes," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 202-213.
    5. World Bank, 2012. "Using Public Food Grain Stocks to Enhance Food Security," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11878, The World Bank.
    6. Khera, Reetika, 2014. "Cash vs. in-kind transfers: Indian data meets theory," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 116-128.
    7. d'Agostino, Giorgio & Pieroni, Luca & Scarlato, Margherita, 2013. "Social Protection and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Evaluation of Cash Transfer Programmes," MPRA Paper 49536, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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