Targeting versus universalism: An evaluation of indirect effects of the Employment Guarantee Scheme in India
Although a workfare scheme is potentially a cost-effective poverty alleviation scheme as it attracts only the poor who have an incentive to do unskilled manual works, an investigation of the ICRISAT data in India clarifies that the Employment Guarantee Scheme was mistargeted, i.e., a substantial share of the non-poor also participated. The comparison of the EGS and universalism through the villagelevel SAM (Social Accounting Matrix) model reveals that the former is neither efficient nor equitable than the latter unless the state government carefully designs the scheme so that the EGS assets, such as irrigation facilities, are made accessible to the poor without undermining their positive effects on agricultural productivity.
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