IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/3640.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Is a guaranteed living wage a good anti-poverty policy?

Author

Listed:
  • Murgai, Rinku
  • Ravallion, Martin

Abstract

Minimum wages are generally thought to be unenforceable in developing rural economies. But there is one solution - a workfare scheme in which the government acts as the employer of last resort. Is this a cost-effective policy against poverty? Using a microeconometric model of the casual labor market in rural India, the authors find that a guaranteed wage rate sufficient for a typical poor family to reach the poverty line would bring the annual poverty rate down from 34 percent to 25 percent at a fiscal cost representing 3-4 percent of GDP when run for the whole year. Confining the scheme to the lean season (three months) would bring the annual poverty rate down to 31 percent at a cost of 1.3 percent of GDP. While the gains from a guaranteed wage rate would be better targeted than a uniform (untargeted) cash transfer, the extra costs of the wage policy imply that it would have less impact on poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Murgai, Rinku & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Is a guaranteed living wage a good anti-poverty policy?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3640, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3640
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2005/06/16/000016406_20050616103635/Rendered/PDF/wps3640.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Transfer Benefits from Public-Works Employment: Evidence for Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1346-1369, November.
    2. Martin Ravallion & Gaurav Datt, 1995. "Is Targeting Through a Work Requirement Efficient? Some Evidence for Rural India," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-41, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    3. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    4. David Neumark, 2004. "Living Wages: Protection for or Protection from Low-Wage Workers?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(1), pages 27-51, October.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2005. "Participatory Democracy in Action: Survey Evidence from South India," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 648-657, 04/05.
    8. Coady, David P. & Grosh, Margaret & Hoddinott, John, 2002. "Targeting outcomes redux," FCND briefs 144, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Martin Ravallion & Emanuela Galasso & Teodoro Lazo & Ernesto Philipp, 2005. "What Can Ex-Participants Reveal about a Program’s Impact?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
    10. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
    11. 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.
    12. David Coady, 2004. "Targeting Outcomes Redux," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 61-85.
    13. Sunil Kanwar, 2004. "Seasonality and Wage Responsiveness in a Developing Agrarian Economy," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(2), pages 189-204, May.
    14. Keen, Michael, 1992. "Needs and Targeting," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(410), pages 67-79, January.
    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. Padmini Desikachar & Brinda Viswanathan, 2011. "Patterns of Labour Market Insecurity in Rural India: A Multidimensional and Multivariate Analysis," Working Papers 2011-062, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    2. Padmini Desikachar & Brinda Viswanathan, 2012. "Patterns of Labour Market Insecurity in Rural India: A Multidimensional and Multivariate Analysis," Working Papers id:4901, eSocialSciences.
    3. Gentilini, Ugo & Omamo, Steven Were, 2011. "Social protection 2.0: Exploring issues, evidence and debates in a globalizing world," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 329-340, June.

    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. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin & Wang, Youjuan, 2006. "Di Bao : a guaranteed minimum income in urban China?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3805, The World Bank.
    2. Christophe MULLER & Sami BIBI, 2008. "Focused Transfer Targeting against Poverty Evidence from Tunisia," THEMA Working Papers 2008-37, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    3. Christophe Muller & Sami Bibi, 2006. "Focused Targeting Against Poverty Evidence From Tunisia," Working Papers. Serie AD 2006-01, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    4. Miguel Székely, 1997. "Opciones de políticas para la paliación de la pobreza," Research Department Publications 4063, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    5. Miguel Székely, 1997. "Policy Options for Poverty Alleviation," Research Department Publications 4062, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    6. Ravallion, Martin, 2019. "Guaranteed employment or guaranteed income?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 209-221.
    7. Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Appraising Workfare," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 31-48, February.
    8. Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Appraising workfare programs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1955, The World Bank.
    9. Coady, David P. & Grosh, Margaret & Hoddinott, John, 2002. "Targeting outcomes redux," FCND briefs 144, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Rinku Murgai & Martin Ravallion & Dominique van de Walle, 2016. "Is Workfare Cost-effective against Poverty in a Poor Labor-Surplus Economy?," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 30(3), pages 413-445.
    11. Gaurav Datt & Martin Ravallion, 1997. "Macroeconomic Crises and Poverty Monitoring: A Case Study for India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 135-152, June.
    12. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Income gains to the poor from workfare - estimates for Argentina's TRABAJAR Program," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2149, The World Bank.
    13. Christophe Muller & Sami Bibi, 2010. "Refining Targeting against Poverty Evidence from Tunisia," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(3), pages 381-410, June.
    14. Christophe Muller, 2007. "Anti-Poverty Transfers without Riots in Tunisia," Working Papers DT/2007/08, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    15. Kanbur, Ravi, 2000. "Income distribution and development," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 791-841, Elsevier.
    16. David Coady, 2015. "Designing and Evaluating Social Safety Nets: Theory, Evidence, and Policy Conclusions," Working Papers id:7496, eSocialSciences.
    17. van de Walle, Dominique, 1998. "Assessing the welfare impacts of public spending," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 365-379, March.
    18. Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Targeted transfers in poor countries : revisiting the tradeoffs and policy options," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3048, The World Bank.
    19. 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.
    20. Bibi, Sami & Duclos, Jean-Yves, 2007. "Equity and policy effectiveness with imperfect targeting," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 109-140, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Economics&Policies; Safety Nets and Transfers; Rural Poverty Reduction; Services&Transfers to Poor; Health Economics&Finance;
    All these keywords.

    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:wbk:wbrwps:3640. 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/dvewbus.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: Roula I. Yazigi (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.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.