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Costing alternative transfer modalities:

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  • Margolies, Amy
  • Hoddinott, John F.

Abstract

Discussions regarding the merits of cash and food transfers by academics and implementers alike focus on their relative impacts. Much less is known about their relative costs. We apply activity-based costing methods to interventions situated in Ecuador, Niger, Uganda, and Yemen, finding that the per transfer cost of providing cash is always less than that of providing food. Given the budget for these interventions, an additional 44,769 people could have received assistance at no additional cost had cash been provided instead of food. This suggests a significant opportunity cost in terms of reduced coverage when higher-cost transfer modalities are used. Decisions to use cash or food transfers should consider both impacts and costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Margolies, Amy & Hoddinott, John F., 2014. "Costing alternative transfer modalities:," IFPRI discussion papers 1375, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1375
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Coady & Margaret Grosh & John Hoddinott, 2004. "Targeting of Transfers in Developing Countries : Review of Lessons and Experience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14902, 05-2018.
    2. 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.
    3. Margaret Grosh & Carlo del Ninno & Emil Tesliuc & Azedine Ouerghi, 2008. "For Protection and Promotion : The Design and Implementation of Effective Safety Nets," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6582, 05-2018.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:quaeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:202-211 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ugo Gentilini, 2016. "The Other Side of the Coin," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 24593, 05-2018.
    3. World Bank Group, 2016. "Cash Transfers in Humanitarian Contexts," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24699, The World Bank.
    4. Gentilini, Ugo, 2014. "Our daily bread : what is the evidence on comparing cash versus food transfers?," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 89502, The World Bank.
    5. Lara Cockx & Nathalie Francken, 2016. "Evolution and Impact of EU Aid for Food and Nutrition Security: A Review," FOODSECURE Working papers 47, LEI Wageningen UR.
    6. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:9:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0736-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. AfDB AfDB, 2018. "Working Paper 304 - The Use of Cash Versus Food Transfers in Eastern Niger," Working Paper Series 2430, African Development Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social protection; food aid; cash transfers;

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