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Can the Major Public Works Policy Buffer Negative Shocks in Early Childhood? Evidence from Andhra Pradesh, India

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  • Aparajita Dasgupta

Abstract

The study examines the role of the largest public works program in the world—the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS)—in buffering the negative effects of early childhood exposure to rainfall shocks on long-term health outcomes. Exploiting the spatial and temporal variation in NREGS coverage, the study estimates the extent to which nutritional shocks in early childhood can be offset by access to the program. The study employs a unique identification strategy by integrating detailed administrative records of drought shock and phased rollout information of NREGS with household-level panel data—the Young Lives survey—conducted over three waves (2002, 2007, and 2009–10) in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Using individual fixed effects estimation, the study finds that while the policy does not help correct for long-term past health deficiencies it is useful in buffering recent drought shocks, which vary by policy relevant subgroups.

Suggested Citation

  • Aparajita Dasgupta, 2017. "Can the Major Public Works Policy Buffer Negative Shocks in Early Childhood? Evidence from Andhra Pradesh, India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(4), pages 767-804.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/691992
    DOI: 10.1086/691992
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    Cited by:

    1. Chatterjee, Jagori & Merfeld, Joshua D., 2020. "Protecting Girls from Droughts with Social Safety Nets," IZA Discussion Papers 13694, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Basu, Parantap & Sen, Kunal, 2015. "Welfare Implications of India's Employment Guarantee Programme with a Wage Payment Delay," IZA Discussion Papers 9454, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Megan Sheahan & Yanyan Liu & Christopher B Barrett & Sudha Narayanan, 2018. "Preferential Resource Spending under an Employment Guarantee: The Political Economy of MGNREGS in Andhra Pradesh," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 32(3), pages 551-569.
    4. Sheahan, Megan & Liu, Yanyan & Barrett, Christopher B. & Narayanan, Sudha, 2014. "The political economy of MGNREGS spending in Andhra Pradesh:," IFPRI discussion papers 1371, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Tagat, Anirudh, 2020. "Female matters: Impact of a workfare program on intra-household female decision-making in rural India," World Development Perspectives, Elsevier, vol. 20(C).
    6. Aurino, Elisabetta & Morrow, Virginia, 2018. "“Food prices were high, and the dal became watery”. Mixed-method evidence on household food insecurity and children’s diets in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 211-224.
    7. 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.
    8. Banerjee, Rakesh & Maharaj, Riddhi, 2020. "Heat, infant mortality, and adaptation: Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    9. Zimmermann, Laura, 2020. "Why Guarantee Employment? Evidence from a Large Indian Public-Works Program," GLO Discussion Paper Series 504, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    10. Jean-Pierre Tranchant & Patricia Justino & Cathérine Müller, 2014. "Political Violence, Drought and Child Malnutrition: Empirical Evidence from Andhra Pradesh, India," HiCN Working Papers 173, Households in Conflict Network.
    11. Lakshmi Iyer & Petia Topalova, 2014. "Poverty and Crime: Evidence from Rainfall and Trade Shocks in India," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-067, Harvard Business School, revised Aug 2014.
    12. Bhargava, Anil K., 2015. "NREGA's Impact on Agricultural Production, Labor, and Technology Adoption: New Evidence from a Detailed Indian Household-Plot Panel," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205695, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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