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Poverty and Employability Effects of Workfare Programs in Argentina

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucas Ronconi & Juan Sanguinetti & Sandra Fachelli & Virginia Casazza & Ignacio Franceschelli, 2006. "Poverty and Employability Effects of Workfare Programs in Argentina," Working Papers PMMA 2006-14, PEP-PMMA.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:pmmacr:2006-14
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    File URL: https://portal.pep-net.org/documents/download/id/13565
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    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, November.
    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. 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.
    5. Besley, Timothy & Kanbur, Ravi, 1990. "The principles of targeting," Policy Research Working Paper Series 385, The World Bank.
    6. Dar, Amit & Tzannatos, Zafiris, 1999. "Active labor market programs: a review of the evidence from evaluations," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 20116, The World Bank.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Melanie Khamis, 2005. "Crisis and Recovery in Argentina: Labor market, poverty, inequality and pro-poor growth dynamics," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 135, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Leonardo Gasparini & Francisco Haimovich & Sergio Olivieri, 2007. "Labor Informality Effects of a Poverty-Alleviation Program," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0053, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    3. Sergio Firpo & Sandro Carvalho & Renan Pieri, 2016. "Using occupational structure to measure employability with an application to the Brazilian labor market," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 14(1), pages 1-19, March.
    4. Melanie Khamis, 2012. "Is Informal Sector Work an Alternative to Workfare Benefits? The Case of Pre-program Expansion and Economic Crisis," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 579-593, November.
    5. Kluve, Jochen., 2016. "A review of the effectiveness of active labour market programmes with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean," ILO Working Papers 994901193402676, International Labour Organization.
    6. Schröter, Lars, 2008. "Die Rolle des informellen Sektors in der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung Argentiniens
      [The role of the informal sector in the economic development of Argentina]
      ," MPRA Paper 11661, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Nov 2008.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Workfare; evaluation; Argentina;

    JEL classification:

    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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