IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/26600.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

General Equilibrium Effects of Cash Transfers: Experimental Evidence from Kenya

Author

Listed:
  • Dennis Egger
  • Johannes Haushofer
  • Edward Miguel
  • Paul Niehaus
  • Michael W. Walker

Abstract

How large economic stimuli generate individual and aggregate responses is a central question in economics, but has not been studied experimentally. We provided one-time cash transfers of about USD 1000 to over 10,500 poor households across 653 randomized villages in rural Kenya. The implied fiscal shock was over 15 percent of local GDP. We find large impacts on consumption and assets for recipients. Importantly, we document large positive spillovers on non-recipient households and firms, and minimal price inflation. We estimate a local transfer multiplier of 2.4. We interpret welfare implications through the lens of a simple household optimization framework.

Suggested Citation

  • Dennis Egger & Johannes Haushofer & Edward Miguel & Paul Niehaus & Michael W. Walker, 2019. "General Equilibrium Effects of Cash Transfers: Experimental Evidence from Kenya," NBER Working Papers 26600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26600
    Note: DEV ME PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w26600.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Yoav Benjamini & Abba M. Krieger & Daniel Yekutieli, 2006. "Adaptive linear step-up procedures that control the false discovery rate," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 93(3), pages 491-507, September.
    2. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, Randomization, and Learning about Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 424-455, June.
    3. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David J. & Woodruff, Christopher, 2009. "Measuring microenterprise profits: Must we ask how the sausage is made?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 19-31, January.
    4. Murphy, Daniel, 2017. "Excess capacity in a fixed-cost economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 245-260.
    5. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    6. Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2015. "Aggregate Demand, Idle Time, and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(2), pages 507-569.
    7. Adrien Bouguen & Yue Huang & Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel, 2018. "Using RCTs to Estimate Long-Run Impacts in Development Economics," NBER Working Papers 25356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, 2019. "Geographic Cross-Sectional Fiscal Spending Multipliers: What Have We Learned?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 1-34, May.
    9. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
    10. Raj Chetty, 2009. "Sufficient Statistics for Welfare Analysis: A Bridge Between Structural and Reduced-Form Methods," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 451-488, May.
    11. Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Davis, Benjamin & de Janvry, Alain, 2001. "Cash transfer programs with income multipliers," FCND briefs 99, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Filmer,Deon P. & Friedman,Jed & Kandpal,Eeshani & Onishi,Junko, 2018. "Cash Transfers, Food Prices, and Nutrition Impacts on Nonbeneficiary Children," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8377, The World Bank.
    13. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Frederico Finan, 2009. "Neighborhood Peer Effects in Secondary School Enrollment Decisions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 695-716, November.
    14. Manuela Angelucci & Giacomo De Giorgi, 2009. "Indirect Effects of an Aid Program: How Do Cash Transfers Affect Ineligibles' Consumption?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 486-508, March.
    15. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1989. "Industrialization and the Big Push," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1003-1026, October.
    16. Karen Thome & Mateusz Filipski & Justin Kagin & J. Edward Taylor & Benjamin Davis, 2013. "Agricultural Spillover Effects of Cash Transfers: What Does LEWIE Have to Say?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1338-1344.
    17. Daniel LaFave & Duncan Thomas, 2016. "Farms, Families, and Markets: New Evidence on Completeness of Markets in Agricultural Settings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 1917-1960, September.
    18. Emi Nakamura & J?n Steinsson, 2014. "Fiscal Stimulus in a Monetary Union: Evidence from US Regions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 753-792, March.
    19. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Can Government Purchases Stimulate the Economy?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 673-685, September.
    20. Sarah Baird & Craig McIntosh & Berk Özler, 2011. "Cash or Condition? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1709-1753.
    21. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
    22. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101, April.
    23. Bassi, Vittorio & Muoio, Raffaela & Porzio, Tommaso & Sen, Ritwika & Tugume, Esau, 2020. "Achieving Scale Collectively," CEPR Discussion Papers 15134, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    24. Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Janvry, Alain de & Davis, Benjamin, 2001. "Cash Transfer Programs with Income Multipliers: PROCAMPO in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1043-1056, June.
    25. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, January.
    26. McKenzie, David, 2012. "Beyond baseline and follow-up: The case for more T in experiments," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 210-221.
    27. Valerie A. Ramey & Sarah Zubairy, 2018. "Government Spending Multipliers in Good Times and in Bad: Evidence from US Historical Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(2), pages 850-901.
    28. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Daniel Murphy, 2019. "Local Fiscal Multipliers and Fiscal Spillovers in the United States," NBER Working Papers 25457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Johannes Haushofer & Jeremy Shapiro, 2016. "The Short-term Impact of Unconditional Cash Transfers to the Poor: ExperimentalEvidence from Kenya," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1973-2042.
    30. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
    31. Marshall Burke & Lauren Falcao Bergquist & Edward Miguel, 2019. "Sell Low and Buy High: Arbitrage and Local Price Effects in Kenyan Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(2), pages 785-842.
    32. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Rema Hanna & Gabriel E. Kreindler & Benjamin A. Olken, 2017. "Debunking the Stereotype of the Lazy Welfare Recipient: Evidence from Cash Transfer Programs," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 32(2), pages 155-184.
    33. Sarah Baird & J. Aislinn Bohren & Craig McIntosh & Berk Özler, 2018. "Optimal Design of Experiments in the Presence of Interference," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 844-860, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Davide Viviano, 2020. "Experimental Design under Network Interference," Papers 2003.08421, arXiv.org, revised Jun 2020.
    2. Sedlmayr, Richard & Shah, Anuj & Sulaiman, Munshi, 2020. "Cash-plus: Poverty impacts of alternative transfer-based approaches," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    3. Evan Borkum & Paolo Abarcar & Laura Meyer & Matthew Spitzer, "undated". "Jordan Refugee Livelihoods Development Impact Bond Evaluation Framework," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 602dafe521fe4467854dcd45e, Mathematica Policy Research.
    4. Huber, Kilian, 2021. "Estimating General Equilibrium Spillovers of Large-Scale Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 15943, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Karthik Muralidharan & Paul Niehaus & Sandip Sukhtankar, 2020. "Identity Verification Standards in Welfare Programs: Experimental Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 26744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Craig McIntosh & Andrew Zeitlin, 2020. "Using Household Grants to Benchmark the Cost Effectiveness of a USAID Workforce Readiness Program," Papers 2009.01749, arXiv.org.
    7. Auerbach, Alan J. & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Murphy, Daniel, 2021. "Inequality, fiscal policy and COVID19 restrictions in a demand-determined economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    8. Adriana Lleras‐Muney, 2022. "Education and income gradients in longevity: The role of policy," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 55(1), pages 5-37, February.
    9. Kochar, Anjini & Nagabhushana, Closepet & Sarkar, Ritwik & Shah, Rohan & Singh, Geeta, 2022. "Financial access and women's role in household decisions: Empirical evidence from India's National Rural Livelihoods project," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 155(C).
    10. Feyza G. Sahinyazan & Marie‐Ève Rancourt & Vedat Verter, 2021. "Food Aid Modality Selection Problem," Production and Operations Management, Production and Operations Management Society, vol. 30(4), pages 965-983, April.
    11. Olivier Sterck & Antonia Delius, 2020. "Cash Transfers and Micro-Enterprise Performance: Theory and Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Kenya," CSAE Working Paper Series 2020-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    12. Andersen, Asbjørn G. & Kotsadam, Andreas & Somville, Vincent, 2021. "Material resources and well-being — Evidence from an Ethiopian housing lottery," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 11/2021, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    13. Davide Viviano & Jelena Bradic, 2020. "Fair Policy Targeting," Papers 2005.12395, arXiv.org, revised May 2021.
    14. Orazio Attanasio & Lina Cardona-Sosa & Carlos Medina & Costas Meghir & Christian Posso, 2021. "Long Term Effects of Cash Transfer Programs in Colombia," Borradores de Economia 1170, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    15. Davide Viviano, 2020. "Policy design in experiments with unknown interference," Papers 2011.08174, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2022.
    16. de Milliano, Marlous & Barrington, Clare & Angeles, Gustavo & Gbedemah, Christiana, 2021. "Crowding-out or crowding-in? Effects of LEAP 1000 unconditional cash transfer program on household and community support among women in rural Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    17. Matthew W. Ridley & Gautam Rao & Frank Schilbach & Vikram H. Patel, 2020. "Poverty, Depression, and Anxiety: Causal Evidence and Mechanisms," NBER Working Papers 27157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Susanna B. Berkouwer & Pierre E. Biscaye & Steven L. Puller & Catherine Wolfram, 2021. "Disbursing Emergency Relief through Utilities: Evidence from Ghana," NBER Working Papers 28818, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Avitabile, Ciro, 2021. "Spillovers and Social Interaction Effects in the Demand for Preventive Healthcare: Evidence from the PROGRESA program," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    20. Y. R. Waarts & V. Janssen & R. Aryeetey & D. Onduru & D. Heriyanto & S. Tin Aprillya & A. N’Guessan & L. Courbois & D. Bakker & V. J. Ingram, 2021. "Multiple pathways towards achieving a living income for different types of smallholder tree-crop commodity farmers," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 13(6), pages 1467-1496, December.
    21. Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti & Peruffo, Marcel Cortes & Cordeiro Valério, André, 2021. "Universal Basic Income in Developing Countries: Pitfalls and Alternatives," FGV EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 821, EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance - FGV EPGE (Brazil).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Bernard, Tanguy & Dercon, Stefan & Orkin, Kate & Taffesse, Alemayehu, 2014. "The Future in Mind: Aspirations and Forward-Looking Behaviour in Rural Ethiopia," CEPR Discussion Papers 10224, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Heinrich, Carolyn J. & Knowles, Matthew T., 2020. "A fine predicament: Conditioning, compliance and consequences in a labeled cash transfer program," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    3. Cornelius Christian & Lukas Hensel & Christopher Roth, 2019. "Income Shocks and Suicides: Causal Evidence From Indonesia," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(5), pages 905-920, December.
    4. Kameda, Taisuke & Namba, Ryoichi & Tsuruga, Takayuki, 2021. "Decomposing local fiscal multipliers: Evidence from Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C).
    5. Francis J. DiTraglia & Camilo Garcia-Jimeno & Rossa O'Keeffe-O'Donovan & Alejandro Sanchez-Becerra, 2020. "Identifying Causal Effects in Experiments with Spillovers and Non-compliance," Papers 2011.07051, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2021.
    6. Raza, Wameq A. & Van de Poel, Ellen & Van Ourti, Tom, 2018. "Impact and spill-over effects of an asset transfer program on child undernutrition: Evidence from a randomized control trial in Bangladesh," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 105-120.
    7. Jeffrey D. Michler & Anna Josephson, 2021. "Recent Developments in Inference: Practicalities for Applied Economics," Papers 2107.09736, arXiv.org.
    8. Haushofer, Johannes & Chemin, Matthieu & Jang, Chaning & Abraham, Justin, 2020. "Economic and psychological effects of health insurance and cash transfers: Evidence from a randomized experiment in Kenya," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    9. Abebe, Girum & Caria, Stefano & Fafchamps, Marcel & Falco, Paolo & Franklin, Simon & Quinn, Simon, 2017. "Anonymity of distance? Job search and labour market exclusion in a growing African city," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86573, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Marshall Burke & Lauren Falcao Bergquist & Edward Miguel, 2018. "Sell Low and Buy High: Arbitrage and Local Price Effects in Kenyan Markets," NBER Working Papers 24476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Bonan, Jacopo & Battiston, Pietro & Bleck, Jaimie & LeMay-Boucher, Philippe & Pareglio, Stefano & Sarr, Bassirou & Tavoni, Massimo, 2021. "Social interaction and technology adoption: Experimental evidence from improved cookstoves in Mali," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    12. Hebous, Shafik & Zimmermann, Tom, 2021. "Can government demand stimulate private investment? Evidence from U.S. federal procurement," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 178-194.
    13. Abramitzky, Ran & Lavy, Victor & Pérez, Santiago, 2021. "The long-term spillover effects of changes in the return to schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).
    14. Chodorow-Reich, Gabriel, 2020. "Regional data in macroeconomics: Some advice for practitioners," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    15. Cox, Lydia & Müller, Gernot & Pasten, Ernesto & Schoenle, Raphael & Weber, Michael, 2020. "Big G," CEPR Discussion Papers 14625, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
      • Lydia Cox & Gernot J. Muller & Ernesto Pasten & Raphael Schoenle, 2020. "Big G," Working Papers 20-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
      • Lydia Cox & Gernot Muller & Ernesto Pasten & Raphael Schoenle & Michael Weber, 2020. "Big G," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 878, Central Bank of Chile.
      • Lydia Cox & Gernot J. Müller & Ernesto Pasten & Raphael Schoenle & Michael Weber, 2020. "Big G," Working Papers 2020-36, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
      • Lydia Cox & Gernot Müller & Ernesto Pasten & Raphael S. Schoenle & Michael Weber & Michael Weber, 2020. "Big G," CESifo Working Paper Series 8229, CESifo.
      • Lydia Cox & Gernot Müller & Ernesto Pastén & Raphael Schoenle & Michael Weber, 2020. "Big G," NBER Working Papers 27034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Gabriela Calderon & Jesse M. Cunha & Giacomo De Giorgi, 2020. "Business Literacy and Development: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Rural Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(2), pages 507-540.
    17. Michael Christian Lehman, 2014. "Long-Run Effects Of Conditional Cash Transfers," Anais do XLI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 41st Brazilian Economics Meeting] 223, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    18. Labonne, Julien, 2013. "The local electoral impacts of conditional cash transfers," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 73-88.
    19. Valerie A. Ramey, 2020. "The Macroeconomic Consequences of Infrastructure Investment," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Analysis and Infrastructure Investment, pages 219-268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Daniel Murphy, 2019. "Macroeconomic Frameworks," NBER Working Papers 26365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26600. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.