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Productive Workfare? Evidence from Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Program

Author

Listed:
  • Jules Gazeaud

    (NOVA - Universidade Nova de Lisboa = NOVA University Lisbon)

  • Victor Stephane

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon - Saint-Etienne - ENS de Lyon - École normale supérieure de Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Étienne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

Despite the popularity of public works programs in developing countries, there is virtually no evidence on the value of the infrastructure they generate. This paper attempts to start filling this gap in the context of the PSNPa largescale program implemented in Ethiopia since 2005. Under the program, millions of beneficiaries received social transfers conditional on their participation in activities such as land improvements and soil and water conservation measures. We examine the value of these activities using a satellite-based indicator of agricultural productivity and (reweighted) difference-indifferences estimates. Results show that the program is associated with limited changes in agricultural productivity. The upper bound of the main estimate is equivalent to a 3.6 percent increase in agricultural productivity. This contrasts with existing narratives and calls for more research on the productive effects of public works.

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  • Jules Gazeaud & Victor Stephane, 2020. "Productive Workfare? Evidence from Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Program," Working Papers halshs-03082420, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-03082420
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    Cited by:

    1. Abay, Kibrom A. & Abay, Mehari H. & Berhane, Guush & Chamberlin, Jordan, 2022. "Social protection and resilience: The case of the productive safety net program in Ethiopia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).
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    3. Scognamillo, Antonio & Mastrorillo, Marina & Ignaciuk, Adriana, 2024. "One for all and all for one: Increasing the adaptive capacity of households and communities through a public work programme," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 175(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Protection; Public Works; Transfers; Ethiopia; PSNP;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O22 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Project Analysis
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment

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