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Challenges to promoting social inclusion of the extreme poor: evidence from a large scale experiment in Colombia

Author

Listed:
  • Laura Abramovsky

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Orazio Attanasio

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • Kai Barron

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • Pedro Carneiro

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • George Stoye

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

We evaluate the large scale pilot of an innovative and major welfare intervention in Colombia, which combines homes visits by trained social workers to households in extreme poverty with preferential access to social programs. We use a randomized control trial and a very rich dataset collected as part of the evaluation to identify program impacts on the knowledge and take-up of social programs and the labor supply of targeted households. We find no consistent impact of the program on these outcomes, possibly because the way the pilot was implemented resulted in very light treatment in terms of home visits. Importantly, administrative data indicates that the program has been rolled out nationally in a very similar fashion, suggesting that this major national program is likely to fail in making a significant contribution to reducing extreme poverty. We suggest that the program should undergo substantial reforms, which in turn should be evaluated.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Abramovsky & Orazio Attanasio & Kai Barron & Pedro Carneiro & George Stoye, 2014. "Challenges to promoting social inclusion of the extreme poor: evidence from a large scale experiment in Colombia," IFS Working Papers W14/33, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:14/33
    as

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    File URL: https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/wps/WP201433.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Baez, Javier E. & Camacho, Adriana, 2011. "Assessing the Long-term Effects of Conditional Cash Transfers on Human Capital: Evidence from Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 5751, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Nien-Huei Jiang, Neville, 2002. "A simple model of inequality, occupational choice, and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 205-226, October.
    3. Carneiro, Pedro & Galasso, Emanuela & Ginja, Rita, 2014. "Tackling Social Exclusion: Evidence from Chile," IZA Discussion Papers 8209, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    5. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-298, April.
    6. Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    7. María Alzúa & Guillermo Cruces & Laura Ripani, 2013. "Welfare programs and labor supply in developing countries: experimental evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1255-1284, October.
    8. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    9. Patricio S. Dalton & Sayantan Ghosal & Anandi Mani, 2016. "Poverty and Aspirations Failure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(590), pages 165-188, February.
    10. Orazio P. Attanasio & Camila Fernández & Emla O. A. Fitzsimons & Sally M. Grantham-McGregor & Costas Meghir & Marta Rubio-Codina, 2014. "Using the Infrastructure of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program to Deliver a Scalable Integrated Early Child Development Program in Colombia: Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 62cf429ea5b74678a945aa87b, Mathematica Policy Research.
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    1. Challenges to promoting social inclusion of the extreme poor: evidence from a large scale experiment in Colombia By: Laura Abramovsky (Institute for Fiscal Studies) ; Orazio Attanasio (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London) ; Ka
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2015-08-17 19:34:33

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    Cited by:

    1. Susana Martínez-Restrepo & Laura Ramos-Jaimes & Alma Espino & Martin Valdivia & Johanna Yancari Cueva, 2017. "Measuring women’s economic empowerment: Critical lessons from South America," LIBROS FEDESARROLLO 015825, FEDESARROLLO.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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