Program evaluation of agricultural input subsidies in Malawi using treatment effects: Methods and practicability based on propensity scores
AbstractSeveral evaluations have been conducted to assess the impact of agricultural input subsidies in Malawi but have been mostly either descriptive or qualitatively inferred of the intervention impacts on the overall goal of the subsidy program. In most studies cited in this paper their approaches do not control for misspecification errors that might arise due to selection bias. One common erroneous approach is the lack of controlling for treatment effects. In this study we employ quasi-experimental econometric techniques using propensity scores to control for selection bias by creating control groups for those individuals that benefit from agricultural input subsidies. The study utilizes raw household data from two surveys conducted through the Malawi National Statistical Office in 2004/05 and 2006/07 production seasons. A household model for each dataset is estimated together with Average Treatment Effects on the Treated to assess the impact of targeted fertilizer input subsidies in 2004/05 and a refined program adopted in 2006/07 production periods. The evidence suggest that the starter pack or targeted input program implemented before 2004/05 focusing on one tenth of a hectare had a significant negative impact on household food expenditures compared to the refined program in 2006/07 that targeted about half a hectare for marginalized smallholder farmers. The latter, though portraying mostly insignificant results, showed positive impacts on household food expenditures. The approach adopted also proposes ways in which policy makers can effectively and independently evaluate the impact of public programs on social and economic welfare.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 20878.
Date of creation: 22 Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Fertilizer Subsidies; Propensity Scores; Logit; Nearest Neighbor; Stratification; Kernel; Radius; Complex Survey Design; Average Treatment Effects on the Treated;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
- H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
- H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2010-03-06 (Africa)
- NEP-AGR-2010-03-06 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2010-03-06 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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