IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/oxdevs/v47y2019i1p79-96.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Smarter through social protection? Evaluating the impact of Ethiopia’s safety-net on child cognitive abilities

Author

Listed:
  • Marta Favara
  • Catherine Porter
  • Tassew Woldehanna

Abstract

Ethiopia’s productive safety net is the second largest Social Protection Program in sub-Saharan Africa and has been rolled out to almost 10 million beneficiaries since 2005; its effects are therefore of general interest. We provide the first estimates of its impact on children’s cognitive abilities. To identify impacts of this program, we exploit four rounds of data on a cohort of children surveyed repeatedly between 2002 and 2013. We find a small but significant positive effect of the programme on both numeracy skills and vocabulary. This is driven mainly by children in households that had graduated (left) the programme just before 2013. We argue that this is at least partially related to time allocation: graduates of the programme spent more time in school than continuing beneficiaries. We also find evidence that the maths (though not language) improvement is more pronounced for boys.

Suggested Citation

  • Marta Favara & Catherine Porter & Tassew Woldehanna, 2019. "Smarter through social protection? Evaluating the impact of Ethiopia’s safety-net on child cognitive abilities," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(1), pages 79-96, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:47:y:2019:i:1:p:79-96
    DOI: 10.1080/13600818.2018.1499884
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/13600818.2018.1499884
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2006. "Long term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 450-474, July.
    2. Karen Macours & Norbert Schady & Renos Vakis, 2012. "Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 247-273, April.
    3. Mario Fiorini & Michael P. Keane, 2014. "How the Allocation of Children's Time Affects Cognitive and Noncognitive Development," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(4), pages 787-836.
    4. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
    5. Tahir Andrabi & Jishnu Das & Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Tristan Zajonc, 2011. "Do Value-Added Estimates Add Value? Accounting for Learning Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 29-54, July.
    6. Manisha Shah & Bryce Millett Steinberg, 2015. "Workfare and Human Capital Investment: Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 21543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Susanne M. Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 883-931, May.
    8. Jishnu Das & Stefan Dercon & James Habyarimana & Pramila Krishnan & Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2013. "School Inputs, Household Substitution, and Test Scores," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 29-57, April.
    9. Alderman, Harold & Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2012. "Productive role of safety nets : background paper for the World Bank 2012-2022 social protection and labor strategy," Social Protection Discussion Papers and Notes 67609, The World Bank.
    10. Tania Barham & Karen Macours & John A. Maluccio, 2013. "Boys' Cognitive Skill Formation and Physical Growth: Long-Term Experimental Evidence on Critical Ages for Early Childhood Interventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 467-471, May.
    11. Laura Camfield, 2014. "Growing Up in Ethiopia and Andhra Pradesh: The Impact of Social Protection Schemes on Girls’ Roles and Responsibilities," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 26(1), pages 107-123, January.
    12. Stefan Dercon & Catherine Porter, 2014. "Live Aid Revisited: Long-Term Impacts Of The 1984 Ethiopian Famine On Children," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 927-948, August.
    13. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    14. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 3-33, February.
    15. Sarah Baird & Craig McIntosh & Berk Özler, 2011. "Cash or Condition? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1709-1753.
    16. repec:idb:brikps:publication-detail,7101.html?id=32886 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Karen Macours & Norbert Schady & Renos Vakis, 2012. "Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 247-273, April.
    18. 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.
    19. Sarah Baird & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Berk Özler & Michael Woolcock, 2014. "Conditional, unconditional and everything in between: a systematic review of the effects of cash transfer programmes on schooling outcomes," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 1-43, January.
    20. Behrman, Jere R, 1996. "The Impact of Health and Nutrition on Education," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 23-37, February.
    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 & Victor Stephane, 2020. "Productive Workfare? Evidence from Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Program," Working Papers halshs-03082420, HAL.
    2. Jeffery, Karli & Chatterjee, Ishita & Lavin, Tina & Li, Ian W., 2020. "Young lives and wealthy minds: The nexus between household consumption capacity and childhood cognitive ability," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 89-104.
    3. 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.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Emilia Del Bono & Marco Francesconi & Yvonne Kelly & Amanda Sacker, 2016. "Early Maternal Time Investment and Early Child Outcomes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(596), pages 96-135, October.
    2. Singh, Abhijeet, 2015. "Private school effects in urban and rural India: Panel estimates at primary and secondary school ages," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 16-32.
    3. Kaila, Heidi & Sahn, David E. & Sunder, Naveen, 2018. "Early Life Determinants of Cognitive Ability: A Comparative Study on Madagascar and Senegal," IZA Discussion Papers 11550, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Deng, Lanfang & Tong, Tingting, 2020. "Parenting style and the development of noncognitive ability in children," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    5. Zhou, Lei & Jiang, Bo & Wang, Jingxi, 2020. "Do cash transfers have impacts on student Academic, cognitive, and enrollment outcomes? Evidence from rural China," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).
    6. Molina Millán, Teresa & Macours, Karen & Maluccio, John A. & Tejerina, Luis, 2020. "Experimental long-term effects of early-childhood and school-age exposure to a conditional cash transfer program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    7. Porter, Catherine & Goyal, Radhika, 2016. "Social protection for all ages? Impacts of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program on child nutrition," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 92-99.
    8. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 15, pages 1315-1486, Elsevier.
    9. Xiong, Xianfang & Deng, Lanfang & Li, Hongyi, 2020. "Is winning at the start important: Early childhood family cognitive stimulation and child development," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    10. Helmers, Christian & Patnam, Manasa, 2011. "The formation and evolution of childhood skill acquisition: Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 252-266, July.
    11. Dan Anderberg & Gloria Moroni, 2020. "Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Children's Dynamic Skill Accumulation: Evidence from a UK Longitudinal Study," CESifo Working Paper Series 8381, CESifo.
    12. Berhane, Guush & Abay, Mehari & Woldehanna, Tassew, 2015. "Childhood Shocks, Safety nets and Cognitive Skills: Panel Data Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 210868, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Dan Anderberg & Gloria Moroni, 2020. "Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Children’s Dynamic Skill Accumulation: Evidence from a UK Longitudinal Study," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 20-036/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    14. M. Caridad Araujo & Mariano Bosch & Norbert Schady, 2017. "Can Cash Transfers Help Households Escape an Intergenerational Poverty Trap?," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Poverty Traps, pages 357-382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Thakurata, Indrajit & D'Souza, Errol, 2018. "Child labour and human capital in developing countries - A multi-period stochastic model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 67-81.
    16. Flèche, Sarah & Lekfuangfu, Warn N. & Clark, Andrew E., 2021. "The long-lasting effects of family and childhood on adult wellbeing: Evidence from British cohort data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 290-311.
    17. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Schwarz, Nina, 2016. "Infant Health, Cognitive Performance and Earnings: Evidence from Inception of the Welfare State in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 10339, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Norbert Schady & Jere Behrman & Maria Caridad Araujo & Rodrigo Azuero & Raquel Bernal & David Bravo & Florencia Lopez-Boo & Karen Macours & Daniela Marshall & Christina Paxson & Renos Vakis, 2015. "Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 446-463.
    19. Slawa Rokicki & Mark E. McGovern, 2020. "Heterogeneity in Early Life Investments: A Longitudinal Analysis of Children's Time Use," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 66(3), pages 647-676, September.
    20. Briole, Simon & Le Forner, Hélène & Lepinteur, Anthony, 2020. "Children’s socio-emotional skills: Is there a quantity–quality trade-off?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O22 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Project Analysis

    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:taf:oxdevs:v:47:y:2019:i:1:p:79-96. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/CODS20 .

    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.