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Food and cash transfers: evidence from Colombia

  • Orazio Attanasio

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • Erich Battistin

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Alice Mesnard

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

We study food Engel curves among the poor population targeted by a conditional cash transfer programme in Colombia. After controlling for the endogeneity of total expenditure and for the (unobserved) variability of prices across villages, the best fit is provided by a log-linear specification. Our estimates imply that an increase in total expenditure by 10% would lead to a decrease of 1% in the share of food. However, quasi-experimental estimates of the impact of the programme on total and food consumption show that the share of food increases, suggesting that the programme has more complex impacts than increasing household income. In particular, our results are not inconsistent with the hypothesis that the programme, targeted to women, could increase their bargaining power and induce a more than proportional increase in food consumption.

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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W09/15.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:09/15
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  1. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
  2. Sourafel Girma & Abbi M. Kedir, 2003. "Quadratic Food Engel Curves with Measurement Error: Evidence from a Budget Survey," Discussion Papers in Economics 03/17, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  3. Schady, Norbert & Rosero, Jose, 2007. "Are cash transfers made to women spent like other sources of income?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4282, The World Bank.
  4. Lewbel, Arthur, 1996. "Demand Estimation with Expenditure Measurement Errors on the Left and Right Hand Side," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 718-25, November.
  5. Sonia Bhalotra & Cliff Attfield, 1998. "Intrahousehold resource allocation in rural Pakistan: a semiparametric analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 463-480.
  6. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Krishna Pendakur, 1998. "Semiparametric estimation and consumer demand," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 435-461.
  7. Martin Browning & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 1994. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: a General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Department of Economics Working Papers 1994-02, McMaster University.
  8. Valerie Lechene & Orazio Attanasio, 2002. "Tests of Income Pooling in Household Decisions," Economics Series Working Papers 106, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. Orazio Attanasio & Alice Mesnard, 2006. "The Impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer Programme on Consumption in Colombia," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 27(4), pages 421-442, December.
  10. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  11. Abbi Kedir & Sourafel Girma, 2007. "Quadratic Engel Curves with Measurement Error: Evidence from a Budget Survey," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(1), pages 123-138, 02.
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