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Labor Market Impacts of a Large-Scale Public Works Program: Evidence from the Indian Employment Guarantee Scheme

Author

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  • Zimmermann, Laura V

    () (University of Georgia)

Abstract

Recent years have seen an increasing interest in using public-works programs as anti-poverty measures in developing countries. This paper analyzes the rural labor market impacts of the Indian National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, one of the most ambitious programs of its kind, by using a regression discontinuity design. I find that private-sector wages increase substantially for women, but not for men, and that these effects are concentrated during the main agricultural season. In contrast, there is little evidence for negative private employment effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Zimmermann, Laura V, 2012. "Labor Market Impacts of a Large-Scale Public Works Program: Evidence from the Indian Employment Guarantee Scheme," IZA Discussion Papers 6858, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6858
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Transfer Benefits from Public-Works Employment: Evidence for Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1346-1369, November.
    2. Arnab K. Basu, 2002. "Oligopsonistic Landlords, Segmented Labor Markets, and the Persistence of Tied-Labor Contracts," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(2), pages 438-453.
    3. Arnab Basu, 2013. "Impact of rural employment guarantee schemes on seasonal labor markets: optimum compensation and workers’ welfare," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(1), pages 1-34, March.
    4. Azam, Mehtabul, 2012. "The Impact of Indian Job Guarantee Scheme on Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6548, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sheahan, Megan & Liu, Yanyan & Barrett, Christopher B. & Narayanan, Sudha, 2014. "The political economy of MGNREGS spending in Andhra Pradesh:," IFPRI discussion papers 1371, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Girish Bahal, 2016. "Employment Guarantee Schemes and Wages in India," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1626, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Klonner, Stefan & Oldiges , Christian, 2014. "Safety Net for India's Poor or Waste of Public Funds? Poverty and Welfare in the Wake of the World's Largest Job Guarantee Program," Working Papers 0564, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    4. Songqing Jin & Yanyan Liu, 2013. "Welfare and Poverty Impacts of India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: Evidence from Andhra Pradesh," Working Papers id:5530, eSocialSciences.
    5. Bahal, G. & Shrivastava, A., 2016. "Labor Market Effects of Inconsistent Policy Interventions: Evidence from India’s Employment Guarantees," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1669, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    6. Deininger, Klaus & Liu, Yanyan, 2013. "Welfare and poverty impacts of India's national rural employment guarantee scheme : evidence from Andhra Pradesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6543, The World Bank.
    7. Thiemo Fetzer, 2014. "Can Workfare Programs Moderate Violence? Evidence from India," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 053, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    8. Sowmya Dhanaraj & Vidya Mahambare, 2017. "Family structure, education and women’s employment in rural India," WIDER Working Paper Series 195, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Sarbajit Chaudhuri & Krishnendu Ghosh Dastidar, 2014. "Corruption, Efficiency Wage and Union Leadership," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(5), pages 559-576, December.
    10. Thiemo Fetzer, 2014. "Can Workfare Programs Moderate Violence? Evidence from India," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 53, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    11. Merfeld, Joshua D, 2017. "Spatially Heterogeneous Effects of a Public Works Program," MPRA Paper 80630, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Imbert, Clément & Papp, John, 2018. "Costs and Benets of Seasonal Migration : Evidence from India," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1161, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    13. Sheahan, Megan & Liu, Yanyan & Narayanan, Sudha & Barrett, Christopher B., 2015. "Disaggregated labor supply implications of guaranteed employment in India," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 237345, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    14. Erlend Berg & Sambit Bhattacharyya & D Rajasekhar & R Manjula, 2014. "Can Public Employment Schemes Increase Equilibrium Wages? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in India," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 14/317, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    15. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:239-254 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Li, Yanan & Liu, Yanyan, 2016. "Does Providing Public Works Increase Workers' Wage Bargaining Power in Private Sectors? -- Evidence from National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236181, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    17. repec:bri:cmpowp:13/317 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Ganita BHUPAL & Abdoul G. SAM, 2014. "Female Income and Expenditure on Children: Impact of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 14(2).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public works program; National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme; NREGA; NREGS; India; regression discontinuity design;

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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