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How can safety nets contribute to economic growth ?

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  • Alderman, Harold
  • Yemtsov, Ruslan

Abstract

The paper provides an up-to date and selective review of the literature on how social safety nets contribute to growth. The evidence is carefully chosen to show how safety nets have the potential to overcome constraints on growth linked to market failures, and is organized into 4 distinct pathways: i) encouraging asset accumulation by changing incentives and by addressing imperfections in financial markets caused by constraints in obtaining credit, and from information asymmetries; overcoming such failures helps households to invest into their human capital or productive assets; ii) failures in insurance markets especially in low income setting; safety nets are assisting in managing risk both ex post and ex ante; iii) safety nets are overcoming failure to create assets and other local economy complementary factors to household-level investments; iv) safety nets are shown to relax political constraints on policy. Safety nets have a dual objective of directly alleviating poverty through transfers to the poor and of triggering higher growth for the poor. However, the trade-off between the dual objectives of equity and growth is not eliminated by the potential for productive safety nets; this remains critical for designing social policies.

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  • Alderman, Harold & Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2013. "How can safety nets contribute to economic growth ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6437, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6437
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    4. Jules Gazeaud & Victor Stephane, 2020. "Productive workfare? Evidence from Ethiopia’s productive safety net program," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp2003, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Nova School of Business and Economics, NOVAFRICA.
    5. Niu, Chiyu & Arends-Kuenning, Mary, 2016. "No Country for Old Men: An Investment Motive for Downward Inter-generational Transfers in Rural China," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 236033, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. World Bank, "undated". "Africa's Pulse, October 2013 : An Analysis of Issues Shaping Africa's Economic Future," World Bank Publications - Reports 20237, The World Bank Group.
    7. Sudhanshu Handa & Silvio Daidone & Amber Peterman & Benjamin Davis & Audrey Pereira & Tia Palermo & Jennifer Yablonski, 2018. "Myth-Busting? Confronting Six Common Perceptions about Unconditional Cash Transfers as a Poverty Reduction Strategy in Africa," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 33(2), pages 259-298.
    8. World Bank, 2014. "Prosperity for All / Ending Extreme Poverty : A Note for the World Bank Group Spring Meetings 2014," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 17701.
    9. Imane Helmy & Christian Richter & Khalid Siddig & Hebatallah Ghoneim, 2018. "A Comparison of the Economics Impacts of Conditional and Unconditional Cash Transfers in Egypt," Working Papers 50, The German University in Cairo, Faculty of Management Technology.
    10. Alderman, Harold, 2014. "Can transfer programs be made more nutrition sensitive?:," IFPRI discussion papers 1342, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    11. Kym Anderson & Maros Ivanic & William J. Martin, 2014. "Food Price Spikes, Price Insulation, and Poverty," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Food Price Volatility, pages 311-339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Girmay Berhe Araya, 2020. "Impact of Ethiopia's productive safety net program on manure use by rural households: Evidence from Tigrai, Northern Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 51(5), pages 725-742, September.
    13. Gehrke, Esther & Hartwig, Renate, 2015. "How can public works programmes create sustainable employment?," Discussion Papers 11/2015, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).
    14. Gehrke, Esther, 2015. "Can public works infrastructure affect employment outcomes? Evidence from the NREGS in India," Discussion Papers 9/2015, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).
    15. Arne Bigsten, 2018. "Determinants of the Evolution of Inequality in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 27(1), pages 127-148.
    16. Eric ROUGIER & François COMBARNOUS & Yves-André FAURE, 2017. "The ‘local economy’ effect of social transfers: A municipality-level analysis of the local growth impact of the Bolsa Familia Programme in the Brazilian Nordeste," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2017-09, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    17. Rougier, Eric & Combarnous, François & Fauré, Yves-André, 2018. "The “Local Economy” Effect of Social Transfers: An Empirical Assessment of the Impact of the Bolsa Família Program on Local Productive Structure and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 199-215.
    18. Fiszbein, Ariel & Kanbur, Ravi & Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2014. "Social Protection and Poverty Reduction: Global Patterns and Some Targets," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 167-177.
    19. Fiszbein, Ariel & Kanbur, Ravi & Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2013. "Social Protection, Poverty, and the Post-2015 Agenda," Working Papers 180070, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    20. Alderman, Harold & Behrman, Jere R. & Tasneem, Afia, 2015. "The contribution of increased equity to the estimated social benefits from a transfer program: An illustration from PROGRESA:," IFPRI discussion papers 1475, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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    Keywords

    Safety Nets and Transfers; Labor Policies; Rural Poverty Reduction; Banks&Banking Reform; Debt Markets;
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