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Cash, food, or vouchers? Evidence from a randomized experiment in northern Ecuador

  • Hidrobo, Melissa
  • Hoddinott, John
  • Peterman, Amber
  • Margolies, Amy
  • Moreira, Vanessa

The debate over whether to provide food-assistance and the form that this assistance should take has a long history in economics. Despite the ongoing debate, little rigorous evidence exists that compares food-assistance in the form of cash versus in-kind. This paper uses a randomized evaluation to assess the impacts and cost-effectiveness of cash, food vouchers, and food transfers. We find that all three modalities significantly improve the quantity and quality of food consumed. However, differences emerge in the types of food consumed with food transfers leading to significantly larger increases in calories consumed and vouchers leading to significantly larger increases in dietary-diversity.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 107 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 144-156

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:107:y:2014:i:c:p:144-156
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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  16. Hanan G. Jacoby, 1997. "Self-Selection and the Redistributive Impact of In-Kind Transfers: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(2), pages 223-249.
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  18. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Gonzalez-Cossio, Teresa, 2008. "The Impacts of Cash and In-Kind Transfers on Consumption and Labor Supply: Experimental Evidence from Rural Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4778, The World Bank.
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