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Comparing cash and voucher transfers in a humanitarian context : evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo

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  • Aker,Jenny C.

Abstract

Despite recent calls in support of cash transfers, there is little rigorous evidence of the relative impacts of cash versus in-kind transfers, especially in humanitarian contexts, where a majority of such programs take place. This paper uses data from a randomized experiment in the Democratic Republic of Congo to assess the relative impacts and costs of equivalently valued cash and voucher transfers. The voucher program distorted households? purchases along both the extensive and intensive margin as compared with unconstrained cash households. Yet there were no differences in food consumption or other measures of well-being, in part due to the fact that voucher households were able to resell part of what they purchased. As there were no significant benefits to vouchers, cash transfers were the more cost effective modality for both the implementing agency and program recipients in this context.

Suggested Citation

  • Aker,Jenny C., 2015. "Comparing cash and voucher transfers in a humanitarian context : evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7469, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7469
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    Cited by:

    1. Tandon, Sharad & Landes, Maurice & Christensen, Cheryl & LeGrand, Steven & Broussard, Nzinga & Farrin, Katie & Thome, Karen, 2017. "Progress and Challenges in Global Food Security," Economic Information Bulletin 262131, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. David K. Evans & Anna Popova, 2017. "Cash Transfers and Temptation Goods," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(2), pages 189-221.
    3. World Bank Group, 2016. "Cash Transfers in Humanitarian Contexts," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24699, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Housing&Human Habitats; Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping; Economic Theory&Research; Rural Poverty Reduction; Food&Beverage Industry;

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