IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/arx/papers/2009.01749.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Using Household Grants to Benchmark the Cost Effectiveness of a USAID Workforce Readiness Program

Author

Listed:
  • Craig McIntosh
  • Andrew Zeitlin

Abstract

We use a randomized experiment to compare a workforce training program to cash transfers in Rwanda. Conducted in a sample of poor and underemployed youth, this study measures the impact of the training program not only relative to a control group but relative to the counterfactual of simply disbursing the cost of the program directly to beneficiaries. While the training program was successful in improving a number of core outcomes (productive hours, assets, savings, and subjective well-being), cost-equivalent cash transfers move all these outcomes as well as consumption, income, and wealth. In the head-to-head costing comparison cash proves superior across a number of economic outcomes, while training outperforms cash only in the production of business knowledge. We find little evidence of complementarity between human and physical capital interventions, and no signs of heterogeneity or spillover effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Craig McIntosh & Andrew Zeitlin, 2020. "Using Household Grants to Benchmark the Cost Effectiveness of a USAID Workforce Readiness Program," Papers 2009.01749, arXiv.org.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:2009.01749
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://arxiv.org/pdf/2009.01749
    File Function: Latest version
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Emmanuel Skoufias & Susan Wendy Parker, 2001. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Their Impact on Child Work and Schooling: Evidence from the PROGRESA Program in Mexico," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2001), pages 45-96, August.
    2. Manley, James & Gitter, Seth & Slavchevska, Vanya, 2013. "How Effective are Cash Transfers at Improving Nutritional Status?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 133-155.
    3. Bruno Crépon & Esther Duflo & Marc Gurgand & Roland Rathelot & Philippe Zamora, 2013. "Do Labor Market Policies have Displacement Effects? Evidence from a Clustered Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 128(2), pages 531-580.
    4. Anderson, Michael L, 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt15n8j26f, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    5. Dennis Egger & Johannes Haushofer & Edward Miguel & Paul Niehaus & Michael Walker, 2022. "General Equilibrium Effects of Cash Transfers: Experimental Evidence From Kenya," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 90(6), pages 2603-2643, November.
    6. Alexandre Belloni & Victor Chernozhukov & Christian Hansen, 2014. "High-Dimensional Methods and Inference on Structural and Treatment Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 29-50, Spring.
    7. David McKenzie, 2017. "How Effective Are Active Labor Market Policies in Developing Countries? A Critical Review of Recent Evidence," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank, vol. 32(2), pages 127-154.
    8. Gine, Xavier & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2014. "Money or ideas ? a field experiment on constraints to entrepreneurship in rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6959, The World Bank.
    9. Sarah Baird & Craig McIntosh & Berk Özler, 2011. "Cash or Condition? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 126(4), pages 1709-1753.
    10. Fiona Samuels & Maria Stavropoulou, 2016. "‘Being Able to Breathe Again’: The Effects of Cash Transfer Programmes on Psychosocial Wellbeing," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(8), pages 1099-1114, August.
    11. Dean Karlan & Robert Osei & Isaac Osei-Akoto & Christopher Udry, 2014. "Agricultural Decisions after Relaxing Credit and Risk Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 129(2), pages 597-652.
    12. Jorge M. Aguero & Michael R. Carter & Ingrid Woolard, 2006. "The Impact of Unconditional Cash Transfers on Nutrition: The South African Child Support Grant," SALDRU Working Papers 8, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    13. Teresa Molina-Millan & Tania Barham & Karen Macours & John A. Maluccio & Marco Stampini, 2016. "Long-term Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America: Review of the Evidence," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 96136, Inter-American Development Bank.
    14. Hidrobo, Melissa & Hoddinott, John & Peterman, Amber & Margolies, Amy & Moreira, Vanessa, 2014. "Cash, food, or vouchers? Evidence from a randomized experiment in northern Ecuador," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 144-156.
    15. James J. Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 2005. "Structural Equations, Treatment Effects, and Econometric Policy Evaluation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(3), pages 669-738, May.
    16. Molina-Millan, Teresa & Barham, Tania & Macours, Karen & Maluccio, John A. & Stampini, Marco, 2016. "Long-term Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America: Review of the Evidence," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7891, Inter-American Development Bank.
    17. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Time-Series Minimum-Wage Studies: A Meta-analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 238-243, May.
    18. 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.
    19. Jesse M Cunha & Giacomo De Giorgi & Seema Jayachandran, 2019. "The Price Effects of Cash Versus In-Kind Transfers," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 86(1), pages 240-281.
    20. repec:hal:pseose:halshs-00840901 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Benjamin Schwab, 2020. "In the Form of Bread? A Randomized Comparison of Cash and Food Transfers in Yemen," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 102(1), pages 91-113, January.
    22. Christopher Blattman & Nathan Fiala & Sebastian Martinez, 2018. "The Long Term Impacts of Grants on Poverty: 9-year Evidence From Uganda's Youth Opportunities Program," NBER Working Papers 24999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Damon Jones & David Molitor & Julian Reif, 2019. "What do Workplace Wellness Programs do? Evidence from the Illinois Workplace Wellness Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 134(4), pages 1747-1791.
    24. John Hoddinott & Susanna Sandström & Joanna Upton, 2018. "The Impact of Cash and Food Transfers: Evidence from a Randomized Intervention in Niger," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1032-1049.
    25. Hilary Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Douglas Almond, 2016. "Long-Run Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 903-934, April.
    26. Sarah Baird & Jacobus de Hoop & Berk Özler, 2013. "Income Shocks and Adolescent Mental Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(2), pages 370-403.
    27. Katherine Casey & Rachel Glennerster & Edward Miguel, 2012. "Reshaping Institutions: Evidence on Aid Impacts Using a Preanalysis Plan," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 127(4), pages 1755-1812.
    28. Louise Fox & Lemma W. Senbet & Witness Simbanegavi, 2016. "Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges, Constraints and Opportunities," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies, vol. 25(suppl_1), pages 3-15.
    29. James Andreoni & Charles Sprenger, 2012. "Estimating Time Preferences from Convex Budgets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3333-3356, December.
    30. Brudevold-Newman,Andrew Peter & Honorati,Maddalena & Jakiela,Pamela & Ozier,Owen & Brudevold-Newman,Andrew Peter & Honorati,Maddalena & Jakiela,Pamela & Ozier,Owen, 2017. "A firm of one's own : experimental evidence on credit constraints and occupational choice," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7977, The World Bank.
    31. Baird, Sarah & McIntosh, Craig & Özler, Berk, 2019. "When the money runs out: Do cash transfers have sustained effects on human capital accumulation?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 169-185.
    32. Sedlmayr, Richard & Shah, Anuj & Sulaiman, Munshi, 2020. "Cash-plus: Poverty impacts of alternative transfer-based approaches," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    33. repec:fpr:export:1341 is not listed on IDEAS
    34. Juan José Díaz & David Rosas-Shady, 2016. "Impact Evaluation of the Job Youth Training Program Projoven," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 94116, Inter-American Development Bank.
    35. Livia Alfonsi & Oriana Bandiera & Vittorio Bassi & Robin Burgess & Imran Rasul & Munshi Sulaiman & Anna Vitali, 2020. "Tackling Youth Unemployment: Evidence From a Labor Market Experiment in Uganda," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(6), pages 2369-2414, November.
    36. Ashenfelter, Orley & Card, David, 1985. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 648-660, November.
    37. Díaz, Juan José & Rosas-Shady, David, 2016. "Impact Evaluation of the Job Youth Training Program Projoven," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7615, Inter-American Development Bank.
    38. Dercon, Stefan & Orkin, Kate & Bernard, Tanguy & Taffesse, Alemayehu, 2014. "The Future in Mind: Aspirations and Forward-Looking Behaviour in Rural Ethiopia," CEPR Discussion Papers 10224, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    39. A. Belloni & D. Chen & V. Chernozhukov & C. Hansen, 2012. "Sparse Models and Methods for Optimal Instruments With an Application to Eminent Domain," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2369-2429, November.
    40. Marc F. Bellemare & Casey J. Wichman, 2020. "Elasticities and the Inverse Hyperbolic Sine Transformation," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 82(1), pages 50-61, February.
    41. Anna Aizer & Shari Eli & Joseph Ferrie & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2016. "The Long-Run Impact of Cash Transfers to Poor Families," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 935-971, April.
    42. Manuela Angelucci & Giacomo De Giorgi, 2009. "Indirect Effects of an Aid Program: How Do Cash Transfers Affect Ineligibles' Consumption?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 486-508, March.
    43. 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.
    44. Anna, Petrenko, 2016. "Мaркування готової продукції як складова частина інформаційного забезпечення маркетингової діяльності підприємств овочепродуктового підкомплексу," Agricultural and Resource Economics: International Scientific E-Journal, Agricultural and Resource Economics: International Scientific E-Journal, vol. 2(1), March.
    45. Alexandre Belloni & Victor Chernozhukov & Christian Hansen, 2014. "Inference on Treatment Effects after Selection among High-Dimensional Controlsâ€," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 81(2), pages 608-650.
    46. Iqbal Dhaliwal & Caitlin Tulloch, 2012. "From research to policy: using evidence from impact evaluations to inform development policy," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(4), pages 515-536, December.
    47. David McKenzie, 2021. "Small business training to improve management practices in developing countries: re-assessing the evidence for ‘training doesn’t work’," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press and Oxford Review of Economic Policy Limited, vol. 37(2), pages 276-301.
    48. M. Caridad Araujo & Mariano Bosch & Norbert Schady, 2017. "Can Cash Transfers Help Households Escape an Inter-Generational Poverty Trap?," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Asset Accumulation and Poverty Traps National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    49. Johannes Haushofer & Jeremy Shapiro, 2016. "The Short-term Impact of Unconditional Cash Transfers to the Poor: ExperimentalEvidence from Kenya," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 131(4), pages 1973-2042.
    50. Jochen Kluve & Susana Puerto & David Robalino & Jose Manuel Romero & Friederike Rother & Jonathan Stöterau & Felix Weidenkaff & Marc Witte, 2017. "Interventions to improve the labour market outcomes of youth: A systematic review of training, entrepreneurship promotion, employment services and subsidized employment interventions," Campbell Systematic Reviews, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 13(1), pages 1-288.
    51. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
    52. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Rema Hanna & Gabriel E. Kreindler & Benjamin A. Olken, 2017. "Debunking the Stereotype of the Lazy Welfare Recipient: Evidence from Cash Transfer Programs," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank, vol. 32(2), pages 155-184.
    53. John Bongaarts, 2016. "Development: Slow down population growth," Nature, Nature, vol. 530(7591), pages 409-412, February.
    54. Orazio Attanasio & Adriana Kugler & Costas Meghir, 2011. "Subsidizing Vocational Training for Disadvantaged Youth in Colombia: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 188-220, July.
    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. Cañedo, Ana P. & Fabregas, Raissa & Gupta, Prankur, 2023. "Emergency cash transfers for informal workers: Impact evidence from Mexico," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 219(C).
    2. Baird, Sarah & McIntosh, Craig & Özler, Berk & Pape, Utz, 2024. "Asset transfers and anti-poverty programs: Experimental evidence from Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 166(C).
    3. Pracht, Wyatt & Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob, 2023. "The Impacts of an Employment Offer on the Aspirations of Rural Youth: Experimental Evidence from Kenya," 2023 Annual Meeting, July 23-25, Washington D.C. 335612, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. McGuire, Joel & Kaiser, Caspar & Bach-Mortensen, Anders, 2020. "The impact of cash transfers on subjective well-being and mental health in low- and middle- income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis," SocArXiv ydr54, Center for Open Science.
    5. Craig McIntosh & Andrew Zeitlin, 2022. "Skills and Liquidity Barriers to Youth Employment: Medium-term Evidence from a Cash Benchmarking Experiment in Rwanda," Papers 2209.08574, arXiv.org.

    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. Craig McIntosh & Andrew Zeitlin, 2021. "Cash versus Kind: Benchmarking a Child Nutrition Program against Unconditional Cash Transfers in Rwanda," Papers 2106.00213, arXiv.org.
    2. Baird, Sarah & McIntosh, Craig & Özler, Berk, 2019. "When the money runs out: Do cash transfers have sustained effects on human capital accumulation?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 169-185.
    3. Craig McIntosh & Andrew Zeitlin, 2022. "Skills and Liquidity Barriers to Youth Employment: Medium-term Evidence from a Cash Benchmarking Experiment in Rwanda," Papers 2209.08574, arXiv.org.
    4. Blattman, Chris & Fiala, Nathan & Martinez, Sebastian, 2019. "The long term impacts of grants on poverty: 9-year evidence from Uganda’s Youth Opportunities Program," SocArXiv vctuh, Center for Open Science.
    5. Anthony Bald & Eric Chyn & Justine Hastings & Margarita Machelett, 2022. "The Causal Impact of Removing Children from Abusive and Neglectful Homes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 130(7), pages 1919-1962.
    6. Ham, Andrés & Michelson, Hope C., 2018. "Does the form of delivering incentives in conditional cash transfers matter over a decade later?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 96-108.
    7. Siu, Jade & Sterck, Olivier & Rodgers, Cory, 2023. "The freedom to choose: Theory and quasi-experimental evidence on cash transfer restrictions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 161(C).
    8. Christopher Blattman & Nathan Fiala & Sebastian Martinez, 2018. "The Long Term Impacts of Grants on Poverty: 9-year Evidence From Uganda's Youth Opportunities Program," NBER Working Papers 24999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Girum Abebe & A Stefano Caria & Marcel Fafchamps & Paolo Falco & Simon Franklin & Simon Quinn, 2021. "Anonymity or Distance? Job Search and Labour Market Exclusion in a Growing African City [Endogenous Stratification in Randomized Experiments]," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 88(3), pages 1279-1310.
    10. Mathias Allemand & Martina Kirchberger & Sveta Milusheva & Carol Newman & Brent Roberts & Vincent Thorne, 2023. "Conscientiousness and Labor Market Returns: Evidence from a Field Experiment in West Africa," Trinity Economics Papers tep0123, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    11. Stefano Caria & Grant Gordon & Maximilian Kasy & Simon Quinn & Soha Shami & Alexander Teytelboym, 2020. "An Adaptive Targeted Field Experiment: Job Search Assistance for Refugees in Jordan," CESifo Working Paper Series 8535, CESifo.
    12. Jörg Peters & Jörg Langbein & Gareth Roberts, 2018. "Generalization in the Tropics – Development Policy, Randomized Controlled Trials, and External Validity," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank, vol. 33(1), pages 34-64.
    13. Peters, Jörg & Langbein, Jörg & Roberts, Gareth, 2016. "Policy evaluation, randomized controlled trials, and external validity—A systematic review," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 51-54.
    14. Dennis Egger & Johannes Haushofer & Edward Miguel & Paul Niehaus & Michael Walker, 2022. "General Equilibrium Effects of Cash Transfers: Experimental Evidence From Kenya," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 90(6), pages 2603-2643, November.
    15. Abhijit Banerjee & Paul Niehaus & Tavneet Suri, 2019. "Universal Basic Income in the Developing World," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 11(1), pages 959-983, August.
    16. Islam, Asadul & Lee, Wang-Sheng & Triyana, Margaret & Xia, Xing, 2023. "Improving Health and Safety in the Informal Sector: Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Bangladesh," IZA Discussion Papers 16150, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Bhanot, Syon P. & Han, Jiyoung & Jang, Chaning, 2018. "Workfare, wellbeing and consumption: Evidence from a field experiment with Kenya’s urban poor," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 372-388.
    18. Sedlmayr, Richard & Shah, Anuj & Sulaiman, Munshi, 2020. "Cash-plus: Poverty impacts of alternative transfer-based approaches," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    19. Edmonds, Eric & Theoharides, Caroline, 2020. "The short term impact of a productive asset transfer in families with child labor: Experimental evidence from the Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    20. Chakravarty, Shubha & Lundberg, Mattias & Nikolov, Plamen & Zenker, Juliane, 2019. "Vocational training programs and youth labor market outcomes: Evidence from Nepal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 71-110.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

    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:arx:papers:2009.01749. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: arXiv administrators (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://arxiv.org/ .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.