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Productive effects of public works programs: What do we know? What should we know?

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  • Gehrke, Esther
  • Hartwig, Renate

Abstract

Public Works (PW) programs are popular development interventions due to their potential ‘double dividend’ of transferring income to the poor while at the same time creating public infrastructure. However, PW programs are costly and demanding from an administrative perspective and it is not clear whether they are the most cost-effective intervention to reduce poverty. Therefore, an assessment of PW programs needs to understand which benefits and costs these programs entail relative to other interventions, and whether or not the extra cost can be outweighed by generating benefits over and above those of alternative interventions, such as Cash Transfer programs.

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  • Gehrke, Esther & Hartwig, Renate, 2018. "Productive effects of public works programs: What do we know? What should we know?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 111-124.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:111-124
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.02.031
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    Cited by:

    1. Borga, Liyousew G. & D’Ambrosio, Conchita, 2021. "Social protection and multidimensional poverty: Lessons from Ethiopia, India and Peru," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
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    3. Jules Gazeaud & Victor Stephane, 2020. "Productive Workfare? Evidence from Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program," Working Papers 2037, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    4. Muhammad Ali Asadullah, 2019. "Quadratic Indirect Effect of National TVET Expenditure on Economic Growth Through Social Inclusion Indicators," SAGE Open, , vol. 9(1), pages 21582440198, March.
    5. Joshua D Merfeld, 2020. "Moving Up or Just Surviving? Nonfarm Self‐Employment in India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 102(1), pages 32-53, January.
    6. Jules Gazeaud & Eric Mvukiyehe & Olivier Sterck, 2019. "Cash Transfers and Migration: Theory and Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," CSAE Working Paper Series 2019-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    7. Nataliya P. Mokrytska & Mariya S. Dolynska & Iryna O. Revak, 2019. "Financing of Public Works as a Form of Temporary Legal Employment of Unemployed Citizens in Ukraine," International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), vol. 0(2), pages 239-250.
    8. Karim, Azreen & Noy, Ilan, 2020. "Risk, poverty or politics? The determinants of subnational public spending allocation for adaptive disaster risk reduction in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Works programs; Investment; Wages; Skills; Public goods;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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