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Income gains to the poor from workfare - estimates for Argentina's TRABAJAR Program

  • Jalan, Jyotsna
  • Ravallion, Martin

The authors use propensity-score matching methods to estimate the income gains to families of workers participating in an Argentinian work-fare program. The methods they propose are feasible for evaluating safety net interventions in settings in which many other methods are not feasible. The average gain is about half the gross wage. Even allowing for forgone income, the distribution of gains is decidedly pro-poor. More than half the beneficiaries are in the poorest decile nationally and 80- percent of them are in the poorest quintile --reflecting the self-targeting feature of the program design. Average gains for men and women are similar, but gains are higher for younger workers. Women's greater participation would not enhance average income gains, and the distribution of gains would worsen. Greater participation by the young would raise average gains but would also worsen the distribution.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2149.

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Date of creation: 31 Jul 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2149
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  1. Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Appraising Workfare," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 31-48, February.
  2. Ravallion, Martin, 1991. "Reaching the Rural Poor through Public Employment: Arguments, Evidence, and Lessons from South Asia," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 6(2), pages 153-75, July.
  3. Besley, T., 1988. "Workfare Vs. Welfare: Incentive Arguments For Work Requirements In Poverty Alleviation Programs," Papers 142, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  4. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Transfer Benefits from Public-Works Employment: Evidence for Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1346-69, November.
  5. Lipton, Michael & Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Poverty and policy," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2551-2657 Elsevier.
  6. Arulampalam, W. & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2002. "University of Warwick," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 9, Royal Economic Society.
  7. Manski, Charles F & Lerman, Steven R, 1977. "The Estimation of Choice Probabilities from Choice Based Samples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(8), pages 1977-88, November.
  8. 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.
  9. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," NBER Working Papers 6699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-64, July.
  11. repec:oup:restud:v:64:y:1997:i:4:p:605-54 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. repec:oup:restud:v:65:y:1998:i:2:p:261-94 is not listed on IDEAS
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