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Failure vs. Displacement: Why An Innovative Anti-Poverty Program Showed No Net Impact

  • Morduch, Jonathan
  • Ravi, Shamika
  • Bauchet, Jonathan

We present results from a randomized trial of an innovative anti-poverty program in India. Instead of a safety net, the program provides “ultra-poor” households with inputs to create a new livelihood and attain economic independence. We find no statistically significant evidence of lasting net impact on consumption, income or asset accumulation. The main impact was the re-optimization of time use: sharp gains in income from the new livelihood were fully offset by lower earnings from wage labor. The result highlights how the existence of alternative economic options shapes net impacts and external validity.

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File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/25408/1/No32-dp.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series PRIMCED Discussion Paper Series with number 32.

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Length: 48 p.
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:primdp:32
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  1. Oriana Bandiera & Narayan Das & Robin Burgess & Selim Gulesci & Munshi Sulaiman & Imran Rasul, 2013. "Can basic entrepreneurship transform the economic lives of the poor?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58032, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Jishnu Das & Stefan Dercon & James Habyarimana & Pramila Krishnan & Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2013. "School Inputs, Household Substitution, and Test Scores," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 29-57, April.
  3. repec:cep:stieop:43 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Mallick, Debdulal, 2009. "How effective is a Big Push to the Small? Evidence from a Quasi-random Experiment," MPRA Paper 22824, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Hunt Allcott, 2012. "Site Selection Bias in Program Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 18373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. M. Shahe Emran & Stephen C. Smith & Virginia Robano, 2009. "Assessing the Frontiers of Ultra-Poverty Reduction: Evidence from CFPR/TUP, an Innovative Program in Bangladesh," Working Papers 2009-06, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
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