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

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Morduch, Jonathan & Ravi, Shamika & Bauchet, Jonathan, 2012. "Failure vs. Displacement: Why An Innovative Anti-Poverty Program Showed No Net Impact," PRIMCED Discussion Paper Series 32, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:primdp:32
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oriana Bandiera & Robin Burgess & Narayan Das & Selim Gulesci & Imran Rasul & Munshi Sulaiman, 2013. "Can Basic Entrepreneurship Transform the Economic Lives of the Poor?," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 043, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    2. repec:cep:stieop:43 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hunt Allcott, 2012. "Site Selection Bias in Program Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 18373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. 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.
    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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    Cited by:

    1. Argent, Jonathan & Augsburg, Britta & Rasul, Imran, 2014. "Livestock asset transfers with and without training: Evidence from Rwanda," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 19-39.
    2. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski & Yongseok Shin, 2014. "Macro-perspective on Asset Grants Programs: Occupational and Wealth Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 159-164, May.
    3. Ghosal, Sayantan & Jana, Smarajit & Mani, Anandi & Mitra, Sandip & Roy, Sanchari, 2016. "Sex Workers, Self-Image and Stigma: Evidence from Kolkata Brothels," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 302, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    4. Buvinic, Mayra & Furst-Nichols, Rebecca, 2014. "Promoting women's economic empowerment : what works ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7087, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets

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