IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/7505.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Direct and indirect effects of Malawi?s public works program on food security

Author

Listed:
  • Beegle,Kathleen G.
  • Galasso,Emanuela
  • Goldberg,Jessica Ann

Abstract

Labor-intensive public works programs are important social protection tools in low-income settings, intended to supplement income of poor households and improve public infrastructure. In this evaluation of the Malawi Social Action Fund, an at-scale, government-operated program, across- and within-village randomization is used to estimate effects on food security and use of fertilizer. There is no evidence that the program improves food security, and some negative spillovers to untreated households. These disappointing results hold even under modifications to the design of the program to offer work during the lean rather than harvest season or increase the frequency of payments.

Suggested Citation

  • Beegle,Kathleen G. & Galasso,Emanuela & Goldberg,Jessica Ann, 2015. "Direct and indirect effects of Malawi?s public works program on food security," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7505, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7505
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2015/12/02/090224b0839967d6/1_0/Rendered/PDF/Direct0and0ind0ram0on0food0security.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2008. "How High Are Rates of Return to Fertilizer? Evidence from Field Experiments in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 482-488, May.
    2. Bazzi, Samuel & Sumarto, Sudarno & Suryahadi, Asep, 2015. "It's all in the timing: Cash transfers and consumption smoothing in a developing country," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 267-288.
    3. Miller, Candace M. & Tsoka, Maxton & Reichert, Kathryn, 2011. "The impact of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme on food security in Malawi," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 230-238, April.
    4. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Workfare versus Welfare Incentive Arguments for Work Requirements in Poverty-Alleviation Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 249-261, March.
    5. Chen, Shaohua & Mu, Ren & Ravallion, Martin, 2009. "Are there lasting impacts of aid to poor areas?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 512-528, April.
    6. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav & Chaudhuri, Shubham, 1993. "Does Maharashtra's Employment Guarantee Scheme Guarantee Employment? Effects of the 1988 Wage Increase," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 251-275, January.
    7. 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.
    8. Deininger, Klaus & Liu, Yanyan, 2013. "Welfare and poverty impacts of India's national rural employment guarantee scheme : evidence from Andhra Pradesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6543, The World Bank.
    9. Manuela Angelucci & Giacomo De Giorgi, 2009. "Indirect Effects of an Aid Program: How Do Cash Transfers Affect Ineligibles' Consumption?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 486-508, March.
    10. Clément Imbert & John Papp, 2015. "Labor Market Effects of Social Programs: Evidence from India's Employment Guarantee," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 233-263, April.
    11. Ravi, Shamika & Engler, Monika, 2015. "Workfare as an Effective Way to Fight Poverty: The Case of India’s NREGS," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 57-71.
    12. Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Appraising Workfare," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 31-48, February.
    13. Margaret Grosh & Carlo del Ninno & Emil Tesliuc & Azedine Ouerghi, 2008. "For Protection and Promotion : The Design and Implementation of Effective Safety Nets," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 6582, December.
    14. Songqing Jin & Yanyan Liu, 2013. "Welfare and Poverty Impacts of India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: Evidence from Andhra Pradesh," Working Papers id:5530, eSocialSciences.
    15. Jessica Goldberg, 2016. "Kwacha Gonna Do? Experimental Evidence about Labor Supply in Rural Malawi," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 129-149, January.
    16. John Hoddinott & Guush Berhane & Daniel O. Gilligan & Neha Kumar & Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse, 2012. "The Impact of Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme and Related Transfers on Agricultural Productivity," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 21(5), pages -786, November.
    17. Guush Berhane & Daniel O. Gilligan & John Hoddinott & Neha Kumar & Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse, 2014. "Can Social Protection Work in Africa? The Impact of Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(1), pages 1-26.
    18. McKenzie, David, 2012. "Beyond baseline and follow-up: The case for more T in experiments," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 210-221.
    19. Johannes Haushofer & Jeremy Shapiro, 2016. "The Short-term Impact of Unconditional Cash Transfers to the Poor: ExperimentalEvidence from Kenya," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1973-2042.
    20. World Bank, 2015. "The State of Social Safety Nets 2015," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 22101, December.
    21. Robert T. Jensen & Nolan H. Miller, 2011. "Do Consumer Price Subsidies Really Improve Nutrition?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1205-1223, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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. Bose, Nayana, 2017. "Raising Consumption Through India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 245-263.
    2. Jules Gazeaud & Victor Stephane, 2020. "Productive Workfare? Evidence from Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program," Working Papers 2037, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    3. Bhanot, Syon P. & Han, Jiyoung & Jang, Chaning, 2018. "Workfare, wellbeing and consumption: Evidence from a field experiment with Kenya’s urban poor," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 372-388.
    4. Ravallion, Martin, 2019. "Guaranteed employment or guaranteed income?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 209-221.
    5. Gehrke, Esther & Hartwig, Renate, 2018. "Productive effects of public works programs: What do we know? What should we know?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 111-124.
    6. Sheahan, Megan & Liu, Yanyan & Narayanan, Sudha & Barrett, Christopher B., 2015. "Disaggregated labor supply implications of guaranteed employment in India," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 237345, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Borga, Liyousew G. & D’Ambrosio, Conchita, 2021. "Social protection and multidimensional poverty: Lessons from Ethiopia, India and Peru," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    8. Wong, Ho Lun & Wei, Xiangdong & Kahsay, Haftom Bayray & Gebreegziabher, Zenebe & Gardebroek, Cornelis & Osgood, Daniel E. & Diro, Rahel, 2020. "Effects of input vouchers and rainfall insurance on agricultural production and household welfare: Experimental evidence from northern Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    9. Stoeffler, Quentin & Mills, Bradford, 2014. "Households’ investments in durable and productive assets in Niger: quasi-experimental evidences from a cash transfer project," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170212, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Scognamillo, Antonio & Sitko, Nicholas J., 2021. "Leveraging social protection to advance climate-smart agriculture: An empirical analysis of the impacts of Malawi’s Social Action Fund (MASAF) on farmers’ adoption decisions and welfare outcomes," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    11. Jules Gazeaud & Eric Mvukiyehe & Olivier Sterck, 2019. "Cash Transfers and Migration: Theory and Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," CSAE Working Paper Series 2019-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    12. Scarlato, Margherita & D'Agostino, Giorgio, 2016. "The political economy of cash transfers: a comparative analysis of Latin American and sub-Saharan African experiences," Discussion Papers 6/2016, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).
    13. Deepak Varshney & Deepti Goel & J. V. Meenakshi, 2018. "The Impact of MGNREGA on Agricultural Outcomes and the Rural Labour Market: A Matched DID Approach," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 61(4), pages 589-621, December.
    14. Narayanan, Sudha & Das, Upasak & Liu, Yanyan & Barrett, Christopher B., 2017. "The “Discouraged Worker Effect” in Public Works Programs: Evidence from the MGNREGA in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 31-44.
    15. Drèze, Jean & Khera, Reetika, 2017. "Recent Social Security Initiatives in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 555-572.
    16. Barrientos, Armando, 2012. "Social Transfers and Growth: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Find Out?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 11-20.
    17. Parmar, Divya & Banerjee, Aneesh, 2019. "Impact of an employment guarantee scheme on utilisation of maternal healthcare services: Results from a natural experiment in India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 222(C), pages 285-293.
    18. 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).
    19. Berg, Erlend & Bhattacharyya, Sambit & Rajasekhar, D. & Manjula, R., 2018. "Can public works increase equilibrium wages? Evidence from India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 239-254.
    20. Deininger, Klaus & Nagarajan, Hari K & Singh, Sudhir K, 2020. "Women's political leadership and economic empowerment: Evidence from public works in India," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 277-291.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food Security; Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping; Regional Economic Development; Rural Poverty Reduction; Food&Beverage Industry;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

    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:7505. 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.