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Poverty and Employability Effects of Workfare Programs in Argentina

  • Lucas Ronconi
  • Juan Sanguinetti
  • Sandra Fachelli
  • Virginia Casazza
  • Ignacio Franceschelli

In 1993 Argentina began implementing workfare programs, and workfare has become a central public policy starting 2002 when the government increased the number of beneficiaries from 100,000 to 2 million people in a country of 38 million. We explore targeting, poverty and employability effects of workfare before 2002 based on the permanent household survey (EPH). We find that the program was pro-poor although more than one third of participants did not satisfy the eligibility criteria. Our estimates suggest that the income of participants increased during treatment - particularly for women - indicating beneficial short run poverty effects. However, the long run effects of the program are not obvious due to selection on treatment completion. We present evidence suggesting that -for a large fraction of participants- the program generated dependency and did not increase their human capital.

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Paper provided by PEP-PMMA in its series Working Papers PMMA with number 2006-14.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:pmmacr:2006-14
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  1. Besley, Timothy & Kanbur, Ravi, 1990. "The principles of targeting," Policy Research Working Paper Series 385, The World Bank.
  2. Timothy J. Bartik, 2001. "Jobs for the Poor: Can Labor Demand Policies Help?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number tjb2001, March.
  3. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Estimating the Benefit Incidence of an Antipoverty Program by Propensity-Score Matching," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(1), pages 19-30, January.
  4. Emanuela Galasso & Martin Ravallion, 2004. "Social Protection in a Crisis: Argentina's Plan Jefes y Jefas," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(3), pages 367-399.
  5. Dar, Amit & Tzannatos, Zafiris, 1999. "Active labor market programs: a review of the evidence from evaluations," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20116, The World Bank.
  6. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
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