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Challenges to Promoting Social Inclusion of the Extreme Poor: Evidence from a Large-Scale Experiment in Colombia

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Listed:
  • Laura Abramovsky

    ()

  • Orazio Attanasio

    ()

  • Kai Barron

    ()

  • Pedro Carneiro

    ()

  • George Stoye

    ()

Abstract

We evaluate the large-scale pilot program of an innovative and major welfare inter- vention in Colombia, which combines home visits by trained social workers to households in extreme poverty with preferential access to social programs. We use a randomized control trial and a very rich data set collected as part of the evaluation to identify program impacts on the knowledge and take-up of social programs and the labor supply of targeted households. We nd no consistent impact of the program on these outcomes, possibly because the way the pilot was implemented resulted in very light treatment in terms of home visits. Importantly, admin- istrative data indicate that the program has been rolled out nationally in a very similar fashion, suggesting that this major national program is likely to fail in making a signi cant contribution to reducing extreme poverty. We suggest that the program should undergo substantial reforms, which in turn should be evaluated.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Abramovsky & Orazio Attanasio & Kai Barron & Pedro Carneiro & George Stoye, 2016. "Challenges to Promoting Social Inclusion of the Extreme Poor: Evidence from a Large-Scale Experiment in Colombia," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 89-141, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000425:014411
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Baez, Javier E. & Camacho, Adriana, 2011. "Assessing the Long-term Effects of Conditional Cash Transfers on Human Capital: Evidence from Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 5751, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Nien-Huei Jiang, Neville, 2002. "A simple model of inequality, occupational choice, and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 205-226, October.
    3. Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    4. Carneiro, Pedro & Galasso, Emanuela & Ginja, Rita, 2014. "Tackling Social Exclusion: Evidence from Chile," IZA Discussion Papers 8209, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Patricio S. Dalton & Sayantan Ghosal & Anandi Mani, 2016. "Poverty and Aspirations Failure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(590), pages 165-188, February.
    6. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    7. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    8. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-298, April.
    9. María Alzúa & Guillermo Cruces & Laura Ripani, 2013. "Welfare programs and labor supply in developing countries: experimental evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1255-1284, October.
    10. Orazio P. Attanasio & Camila Fernández & Emla O. A. Fitzsimons & Sally M. Grantham-McGregor & Costas Meghir & Marta Rubio-Codina, 2014. "Using the Infrastructure of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program to Deliver a Scalable Integrated Early Child Development Program in Colombia: Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 62cf429ea5b74678a945aa87b, Mathematica Policy Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Susana Martínez-Restrepo & Laura Ramos-Jaimes & Alma Espino & Martin Valdivia & Johanna Yancari Cueva, 2017. "Measuring women’s economic empowerment: Critical lessons from South America," LIBROS FEDESARROLLO 015825, FEDESARROLLO.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Socialexclusion; Socialprotection; Colombia; Extremepoverty; Laborsupply; Ran-domized control trial;

    JEL classification:

    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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