IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/wdevel/v107y2018icp111-124.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X18300767
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David McKenzie, 2017. "How Effective Are Active Labor Market Policies in Developing Countries? A Critical Review of Recent Evidence," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 32(2), pages 127-154.
    2. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 159-173, November.
    3. Basu, Arnab K. & Chau, Nancy H. & Kanbur, Ravi, 2009. "A theory of employment guarantees: Contestability, credibility and distributional concerns," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 482-497, April.
    4. Bhargava, Anil K., 2013. "The Impact of India’s Rural Employment Guarantee on Demand for Agricultural Technology," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150163, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Workfare versus Welfare Incentive Arguments for Work Requirements in Poverty-Alleviation Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 249-261, March.
    6. Dean Karlan & Robert Osei & Isaac Osei-Akoto & Christopher Udry, 2014. "Agricultural Decisions after Relaxing Credit and Risk Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 597-652.
    7. Barrientos, Armando, 2012. "Social Transfers and Growth: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Find Out?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 11-20.
    8. Karthik Muralidharan & Paul Niehaus & Sandip Sukhtankar, 2016. "Building State Capacity: Evidence from Biometric Smartcards in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2895-2929, October.
    9. Daniel Gilligan & John Hoddinott & Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse, 2009. "The Impact of Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme and its Linkages," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(10), pages 1684-1706.
    10. Hans P. Binswanger-Mkhize, 2012. "Is There Too Much Hype about Index-based Agricultural Insurance?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 187-200, February.
    11. Ana Iturriza & Arjun S. Bedi & Robert Sparrow, 2011. "Unemployment Assistance and Transition to Employment in Argentina," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 811-837.
    12. Andersson, Camilla & Mekonnen, Alemu & Stage, Jesper, 2011. "Impacts of the Productive Safety Net Program in Ethiopia on livestock and tree holdings of rural households," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 119-126, January.
    13. Manisha Shah & Bryce Millett Steinberg, 2015. "Workfare and Human Capital Investment: Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 21543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Heath, Rachel & Mushfiq Mobarak, A., 2015. "Manufacturing growth and the lives of Bangladeshi women," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 1-15.
    15. Shahidur R. Khandker & Zaid Bakht & Gayatri B. Koolwal, 2009. "The Poverty Impact of Rural Roads: Evidence from Bangladesh," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 685-722, July.
    16. Clément Imbert & John Papp, 2015. "Labor Market Effects of Social Programs: Evidence from India's Employment Guarantee," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 233-263, April.
    17. Mehtabul Azam & Céline Ferré & Mohamed Ajwad, 2013. "Can public works programs mitigate the impact of crises in Europe? The case of Latvia," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-21, December.
    18. repec:wbk:wbpubs:13079 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Beegle, Kathleen & Galasso, Emanuela & Goldberg, Jessica, 2017. "Direct and indirect effects of Malawi's public works program on food security," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 1-23.
    20. Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Appraising Workfare," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 31-48, February.
    21. Harold Alderman & Ruslan Yemtsov, 2014. "How Can Safety Nets Contribute to Economic Growth?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 1-20.
    22. Esther Gehrke, 2019. "An Employment Guarantee as Risk Insurance? Assessing the Effects of the NREGS on Agricultural Production Decisions," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 33(2), pages 413-435.
    23. Carlo del Ninno & Kalanidhi Subbarao & Annamaria Milazzo, 2009. "How to Make Public Works Work : A Review of the Experiences," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11718, The World Bank.
    24. Deininger,Klaus W. & Nagarajan,Hari Krishnan & Singh,Sudhir K. & Deininger,Klaus W. & Nagarajan,Hari Krishnan & Singh,Sudhir K., 2016. "Short-term effects of India's employment guarantee program on labor markets and agricultural productivity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7665, The World Bank.
    25. Christian, Sikandra & de Janvry, Alain & Egel, Daniel & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2015. "Quantitative Evaluation of the Social Fund for Development Labor Intensive Works Program (LIWP)," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt2s5230h2, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    26. Rinku Murgai & Martin Ravallion & Dominique van de Walle, 2016. "Is Workfare Cost-effective against Poverty in a Poor Labor-Surplus Economy?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 30(3), pages 413-445.
    27. Emanuela Galasso & Martin Ravallion, 2004. "Social Protection in a Crisis: Argentina's Plan Jefes y Jefas," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(3), pages 367-399.
    28. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5380 is not listed on IDEAS
    29. John Hoddinott & Guush Berhane & Daniel O. Gilligan & Neha Kumar & Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse, 2012. "The Impact of Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme and Related Transfers on Agricultural Productivity," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 21(5), pages -786, November.
    30. Milo Bianchi & Matteo Bobba, 2010. "Liquidity, risk and occupational choices," Working Papers halshs-00564918, HAL.
    31. Radhika Lal & Steve Miller & Maikel Lieuw-Kie-Song & Daniel Kostzer, "undated". "Public Works and Employment Programmes: Towards a Long-Term Development Approach," Working Papers 66, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    32. Ahmed, Akhter U. & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Nasreen, Mahbuba & Hoddinott, John F. & Bryan, Elizabeth, 2009. "Comparing Food and Cash Transfers to the Ultra-Poor in Bangladesh," Research reports 163, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    33. Karthik Muralidharan & Paul Niehaus & Sandip Sukhtankar, 2017. "General Equilibrium Effects of (Improving) Public Employment Programs: Experimental Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 23838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Lieuw-Kie-Song, Maikel. & Philip, Kate & Tsukamoto, Mito. & Imschoot, Marc van., 2011. "Towards the right to work : innovations in public employment programmes (IPEP)," ILO Working Papers 994607683402676, International Labour Organization.
    35. Guush Berhane & Daniel O. Gilligan & John Hoddinott & Neha Kumar & Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse, 2014. "Can Social Protection Work in Africa? The Impact of Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(1), pages 1-26.
    36. Matteo Bobba, 2013. "Liquidity, Risk, and Occupational Choices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 491-511.
    37. Paul J. Gertler & Sebastian W. Martinez & Marta Rubio-Codina, 2012. "Investing Cash Transfers to Raise Long-Term Living Standards," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 164-192, January.
    38. Farzana Afridi & Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay & Soham Sahoo, 2016. "Female labor force participation and child education in India: evidence from the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-27, December.
    39. Quentin Wodon, 2012. "Poverty and the Policy Response to the Economic Crisis in Liberia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13080, June.
    40. repec:ilo:ilowps:460768 is not listed on IDEAS
    41. Bardhan, Pranab K, 1979. "Labor Supply Functions in a Poor Agrarian Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 73-83, March.
    42. Fiszbein, Ariel & Kanbur, Ravi & Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2014. "Social Protection and Poverty Reduction: Global Patterns and Some Targets," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 167-177.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Jules Gazeaud & Victor Stephane, 2020. "Productive workfare? Evidence from Ethiopia’s productive safety net program," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp2003, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, NOVAFRICA.
    3. 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.
    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. 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).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Works programs; Investment; Wages; Skills; Public goods;

    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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:111-124. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.