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How effectively do public works programs transfer benefits to the poor?

  • Haddad, Lawrence James
  • Adato, Michelle

This paper uses project and household data to examine the ability of 100 or so public works projects in Western Cape Province, South Africa, to target benefits—both direct and indirect—to those living below the poverty line. We find that public works projects generally outperform hypothetical untargeted cash transfers in this regard under a wide range of assumptions about underlying parameters.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series FCND discussion papers with number 108.

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Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcnddp:108
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  1. Bouis, Howarth E., 1994. "Agricultural technology and food policy to combat iron deficiency in developing countries," FCND discussion papers 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 2000. "Welfare to Work in the U.S.: A Model for Other Developed Nations?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 95-114, February.
  3. Stephan Klasen, 1997. "Poverty, Inequality and Deprivation in South Africa: An Analysis of the 1993 SALDRU Survey," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 51-94, July.
  4. Bradford Mills & Jeffrey R. Alwang & Gautam Hazarika, 2000. "The Impact of Welfare Reform Across Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas: A Nonparametric Analysis," JCPR Working Papers 183, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  5. Martin Ravallion & Gaurav Datt, 1995. "Is Targeting Through a Work Requirement Efficient? Some Evidence for Rural India," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-41, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  6. K. Subbarao, 1997. "Public Works as an Anti-Poverty Program: An Overview of Cross-Country Experience," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 678-683.
  7. Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Appraising Workfare," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 31-48, February.
  8. Peck, Jamie & Theodore, Nikolas, 2000. "Commentary: 'Work First': Workfare and the Regulation of Contingent Labour Markets," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 119-38, January.
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