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Productive role of safety nets : background paper for the World Bank 2012-2022 social protection and labor strategy

  • Alderman, Harold
  • Yemtsov, Ruslan

The paper contains a framework for linking social protection with growth and productivity, an updated review of the literature, new original work filling in gaps in the available evidence, and a discussion of operational implications. The paper demonstrates that there was a shift in the economists'view on social protection, and now they are seen as a force that can make a positive contribution towards economic growth and reduce poverty. The paper looks at pathways in which social protection programs (social insurance and social assistance programs, as well as labor programs) can support better growth outcomes: (i) individual level (building and protecting human capital, and other productive assets, empowering poor individuals to invest or to adopt higher return strategies), (ii) local economy effects (enhancing community assets and infrastructure, positive spillovers from beneficiaries to non-beneficiaries), (iii) overall economy level (acting as stabilizers of aggregate demand, improving social cohesion and making growth?enhancing reforms more politically feasible). Most social protection programs affect growth through all of these pathways. But the evidence is very uneven; and there are knowledge gaps. The paper discusses operational implications for the design and implementation of Social Protection (SP) programs and proposes a work program for addressing knowledge gaps.

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File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2012/03/22/000333037_20120322011452/Rendered/PDF/676090NWP012030Box367885B00PUBLIC0.pdf
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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes with number 67609.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:67609
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  1. Reyes Aterido & Mary Hallward-Driemeier & Carmen Pagés, 2011. "Does Expanding Health Insurance Beyond Formal-Sector Workers Encourage Informality?: Measuring the Impact of Mexico's Seguro Popular," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 81001, Inter-American Development Bank.
  2. Humberto López & Luis Servén, 2015. "Too Poor to Grow," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Ricardo J. Caballero & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (ed.), Economic Policies in Emerging-Market Economies Festschrift in Honor of Vittorio Corbo, edition 1, volume 21, chapter 13, pages 309-350 Central Bank of Chile.
  3. Keane, M. P. & Prasad, E. S., 2000. "Inequality, Transfers and Growth: New Evidence from the Economic Transition in Poland," Working Papers 00-09, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  4. François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Phillippe Leite, 2003. "Conditional cash transfers, schoolingand child labor: micro-simulating bolsa escola," Textos para discussão 477, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  5. Robalino, David A. & Rawlings, Laura & Walker, Ian, 2012. "Building social protection and labor systems : concepts and operational implications," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 67608, The World Bank.
  6. Seth R. Gitter & Bradford L. Barham, 2008. "Women's Power, Conditional Cash Transfers, and Schooling in Nicaragua," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 271-290, May.
  7. K. Subbarao, 1997. "Public Works as an Anti-Poverty Program: An Overview of Cross-Country Experience," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 678-683.
  8. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Social protection in a crisis - Argentina's Plan Jefes y Jefas," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3165, The World Bank.
  9. Daniel Gilligan & John Hoddinott & Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse, 2009. "The Impact of Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme and its Linkages," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(10), pages 1684-1706.
  10. Gilligan, Daniel O. & Hoddinott, John, 2006. "Is there persistence in the impact of emergency food aid? Evidence on consumption, food security, and assets in rural Ethiopia," FCND discussion papers 209, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  11. Scarpetta, Stefano & Tressel, Thierry, 2004. "Boosting productivity via innovation and adoption of new technologies : any role for labor market institutions?," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 29144, The World Bank.
  12. Dercon, Stefan & Krishnan, Pramila, 2003. "Food Aid and Informal Insurance," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  13. Pietro Garibaldi & Zuzana Brixiova, 1998. "Labor Market Institutions and Unemployment Dynamics in Transition Economies," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(2), pages 269-308, June.
  14. repec:ilo:esbook:ebook2 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.
  16. Michael Hurd & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Susann Rohwedder, 2008. "Using International Micro Data to Learn about Individuals' Responses to Changes in Social Insurance," Working Papers 626, RAND Corporation.
  17. Lisa Pfeiffer & Alejandro López-Feldman & J. Edward Taylor, 2009. "Is off-farm income reforming the farm? Evidence from Mexico," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(2), pages 125-138, 03.
  18. Chetty, Raj & Looney, Adam, 2006. "Consumption smoothing and the welfare consequences of social insurance in developing economies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2351-2356, December.
  19. Katia Covarrubias & Benjamin Davis & Paul Winters, 2012. "From protection to production: productive impacts of the Malawi Social Cash Transfer scheme," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 50-77, March.
  20. Schady, Norbert, 2006. "Early childhood development in Latin America and the Caribbean," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3869, The World Bank.
  21. Jessica Erin Todd & Paul Winters & Tom Hertz, 2010. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Agricultural Production: Lessons from the Oportunidades Experience in Mexico," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(1), pages 39-67.
  22. Peracchi, Franco & Perotti, Valeria & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2007. "Informality and social protection : preliminary results from pilot surveys in Bulgaria and Colombia," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 41541, The World Bank.
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