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Administrative failures in anti-poverty programmes and household welfare: An investigation of India's employment guarantee programme

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  • Parantap Basu
  • Rajesh Raj Natarajan
  • Kunal Sen

Abstract

Administrative failures in anti-poverty programmes are widespread in developing countries. We focus on one such administrative failure?the persistent delay in paying beneficiaries on time in India's iconic anti-poverty programme, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). Using a life cycle model, we argue that a long wage payment lag in this flagship programme could adversely affect the welfare of the poor through two channels. First, it imposes an implicit consumption tax on the household.

Suggested Citation

  • Parantap Basu & Rajesh Raj Natarajan & Kunal Sen, 2020. "Administrative failures in anti-poverty programmes and household welfare: An investigation of India's employment guarantee programme," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2020-41, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp-2020-41
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Basu, Arnab K. & Chau, Nancy H. & Kanbur, Ravi, 2009. "A theory of employment guarantees: Contestability, credibility and distributional concerns," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 482-497, April.
    2. Kalanidhi Subbarao & Carlo del Ninno & Colin Andrews & Claudia Rodríguez-Alas, 2013. "Public Works as a Safety Net : Design, Evidence, and Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11882, November.
    3. Clément Imbert & John Papp, 2015. "Labor Market Effects of Social Programs: Evidence from India's Employment Guarantee," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 233-263, April.
    4. Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Appraising Workfare," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 31-48, February.
    5. Radhika Lal & Steve Miller & Maikel Lieuw-Kie-Song & Daniel Kostzer, "undated". "Public Works and Employment Programmes: Towards a Long-Term Development Approach," Working Papers 66, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    6. Dreze, Jean & Sen, Amartya, 1991. "Hunger and Public Action," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283652.
    7. Sonalde Desai & Prem Vashishtha & Omkar Joshi, 2015. "Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act: A Catalyst for Rural Transformation," Working Papers id:7259, eSocialSciences.
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