IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/glodps/505.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do Public Program Benefits Crowd Out Private Transfers in Developing Countries? A Critical Review of Recent Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Nikolov, Plamen
  • Bonci, Matthew

Abstract

Precipitated by rapid globalization, rising inequality, population growth, and longevity gains, social protection programs have been on the rise in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the last three decades. However, the introduction of public benefits could displace informal mechanisms for riskprotection, which are especially prevalent in LMICs. If the displacement of private transfers is considerably large, the expansion of social protection programs could even lead to social welfare loss. In this paper, we critically survey the recent empirical literature on crowd-out effects in response to public policies, specifically in the context of LMICs. We review and synthesize patterns from the behavioral response to various types of social protection programs. Furthermore, we specifically examine for heterogeneous treatment effects by important socioeconomic characteristics. We conclude by drawing on lessons from our synthesis of studies. If poverty reduction objectives are considered, along with careful program targeting that accounts for potential crowd-out effects, there may well be a net social gain.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikolov, Plamen & Bonci, Matthew, 2020. "Do Public Program Benefits Crowd Out Private Transfers in Developing Countries? A Critical Review of Recent Evidence," GLO Discussion Paper Series 505, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:505
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/215481/1/GLO-DP-0505.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    3. Cox, Donald & Hansen, Bruce E. & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 2004. "How responsive are private transfers to income? Evidence from a laissez-faire economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2193-2219, August.
    4. Cai, Fang & Giles, John & Meng, Xin, 2006. "How well do children insure parents against low retirement income? An analysis using survey data from urban China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2229-2255, December.
    5. Nikolov, Plamen & Adelman, Alan, 2019. "Do private household transfers to the elderly respond to public pension benefits? Evidence from rural China," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 14(C).
    6. Martin David & Timothy Smeeding, 1985. "Horizontal Equity, Uncertainty, and Economic Well-Being," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number davi85-1, June.
    7. Becker, Gary S, 1988. "Family Economics and Macro Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 1-13, March.
    8. Nermin Oruč, 2011. "Do Social Transfers "Crowd-Out" Remittances: Evidence from Bosnia," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 92, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    9. Cox, Donald C & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1992. "Social Security and Private Transfers in Developing Countries: The Case of Peru," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(1), pages 155-169, January.
    10. Wolff, Francois-Charles & Laferrere, Anne, 2006. "Microeconomic models of family transfers," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, in: S. Kolm & Jean Mercier Ythier (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Giving, Altruism and Reciprocity, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 889-969, Elsevier.
    11. repec:hrv:faseco:34330197 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. John Gibson & Susan Olivia & Scott Rozelle, 2011. "How widespread are nonlinear crowding out effects? The response of private transfers to income in four developing countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(27), pages 4053-4068.
    13. Emma Aguila & Arie Kapteyn & Rosalba Robles & Beverly A. Weidmer, 2011. "Experimental Analysis of the Health and Well-being Effects of a Non-contributory Social Security Program," Working Papers WR-903, RAND Corporation.
    14. Masako Hasegawa, 2017. "Risk-Coping Measures against Health Shocks during the Process of Penetration of Health Insurance in Vietnam," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 139-164, June.
    15. Cheng, Lingguo & Liu, Hong & Zhang, Ye & Zhao, Zhong, 2018. "The health implications of social pensions: Evidence from China's new rural pension scheme," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 53-77.
    16. Pedro Albarran & Orazio P. Attanasio, 2003. "Limited Commitment and Crowding out of Private Transfers: Evidence from a Randomised Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages 77-85, March.
    17. Maitra, Pushkar & Ray, Ranjan, 2003. "The effect of transfers on household expenditure patterns and poverty in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 23-49, June.
    18. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1994. "Parental and Public Transfers to Young Women and Their Children," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1195-1212, December.
    19. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 151-182, July.
    20. Galiani, Sebastian & Gertler, Paul & Bando, Rosangela, 2016. "Non-contributory pensions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 47-58.
    21. Cox, Donald & Eser, Zekeriya & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1998. "Motives for private transfers over the life cycle: An analytical framework and evidence for Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 57-80, February.
    22. Pollak, Robert A, 1988. "Tied Transfers and Paternalistic Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 240-244, May.
    23. Case, Anne & Deaton, Angus, 1998. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1330-1361, September.
    24. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1997. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1121-1166, December.
    25. A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), 2002. "Handbook of Public Economics," Handbook of Public Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4.
    26. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(2), pages 81-94, March.
    27. Kazianga, H., 2006. "Motives for household private transfers in Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 73-117, February.
    28. La, Hai Anh & Xu, Ying, 2017. "Remittances, social security, and the crowding-out effect: Evidence from Vietnam," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 42-59.
    29. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-546, June.
    30. McKernan, Signe-Mary & Pitt, Mark M. & Moskowitz, David, 2005. "Use of the formal and informal financial sectors : does gender matter? empirical evidence from rural Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3491, The World Bank.
    31. Kananurak, Papar, 2016. "Do Public Transfers Crowd-out Private Transfers? Evidence from the Thai Socio-Economic Panel Survey," Applied Economics Journal, Kasetsart University, Faculty of Economics, Center for Applied Economic Research, vol. 23(2), pages 29-47, December.
    32. Juarez, Laura, 2009. "Crowding out of private support to the elderly: Evidence from a demogrant in Mexico," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 454-463, April.
    33. Nikolov, Plamen & Adelman, Alan, 2019. "Do Pension Benefits Accelerate Cognitive Decline? Evidence from Rural China," IZA Discussion Papers 12524, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    34. Attanasio, Orazio & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 2000. "Consumption smoothing in island economies: Can public insurance reduce welfare?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1225-1258, June.
    35. Kenneth Nelson, 2004. "Mechanisms of Poverty Alleviation," LIS Working papers 372, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    36. Mesa-lago, Carmelo, 2002. "Myth and Reality of Pension Reform: The Latin American Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1309-1321, August.
    37. Kristopher Gerardi & Yuping Tsai, 2014. "The Effect of Social Entitlement Programmes on Private Transfers: New Evidence of Crowding Out," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(324), pages 721-746, October.
    38. Schoeni, Robert F, 2002. "Does Unemployment Insurance Displace Familial Assistance?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(1-2), pages 99-119, January.
    39. repec:wly:soecon:v:81:3:y:2015:p:782-802 is not listed on IDEAS
    40. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    41. Ahmad, Ehtisham, 1991. "Social Security and the Poor: Choices for Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 6(1), pages 105-127, January.
    42. Marrit Van den Berg & Nguyen Viet Cuong, 2011. "Impact of Public and Private Cash Transfers on Poverty and Inequality: Evidence from Vietnam," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 29(6), pages 689-728, November.
    43. Lenel, Friederike & Steiner, Susan, 2017. "Insurance and Solidarity: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment in Cambodia," IZA Discussion Papers 10986, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    44. Lin, Wanchuan & Liu, Yiming & Meng, Juanjuan, 2014. "The crowding-out effect of formal insurance on informal risk sharing: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 184-211.
    45. Cox, Donald & Jakubson, George, 1995. "The connection between public transfers and private interfamily transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 129-167, May.
    46. Landmann, Andreas & Vollan, Björn & Frölich, Markus, 2012. "Insurance versus Savings for the Poor: Why One Should Offer Either Both or None," IZA Discussion Papers 6298, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    47. McDonald, John F & Moffitt, Robert A, 1980. "The Uses of Tobit Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 318-321, May.
    48. Donald Cox & Fredric Raines, 1985. "Interfamily Transfers and Income Redistribution," NBER Chapters, in: Horizontal Equity, Uncertainty, and Economic Well-Being, pages 393-426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    49. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-1458, December.
    50. Francesco Cecchi & Jan Duchoslav & Erwin Bulte, 2016. "Formal Insurance and the Dynamics of Social Capital: Experimental Evidence from Uganda," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 25(3), pages 418-438.
    51. Pedro Orraca-Romano, 2015. "Does access to free health insurance crowd-out private transfers? Evidence from Mexico’s Seguro Popular," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 24(1), pages 1-34, December.
    52. Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Social Insurance and Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10918, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    53. Lai, Mun Sim & Orsuwan, Meechai, 2009. "Examining the Impact of Taiwan's Cash Allowance Program on Private Households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1250-1260, July.
    54. Erik Lueth, 2003. "Can Inheritances Alleviate the Fiscal Burden of an Aging Population?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(2), pages 1-2.
    55. World Bank, 2018. "The State of Social Safety Nets 2018," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 29115, December.
    56. Shinichi Nishiyama, 2002. "Bequests, Inter Vivos Transfers, and Wealth Distribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 892-931, October.
    57. Heemskerk, Marieke & Norton, Anastasia & de Dehn, Lise, 2004. "Does Public Welfare Crowd Out Informal Safety Nets? Ethnographic Evidence from Rural Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 941-955, June.
    58. Anette Reil-Held, 2006. "Crowding out or crowding in? Public and private transfers in Germany [Substituts ou compléments? Transferts publics et privés en Allemagne]," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 22(3), pages 263-280, September.
    59. A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), 2002. "Handbook of Public Economics," Handbook of Public Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    60. Strupat, Christoph & Klohn, Florian, 2018. "Crowding out of solidarity? Public health insurance versus informal transfer networks in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 212-221.
    61. Emma Aguila & Arie Kapteyn & Rosalba Robles & Beverly A. Weidmer, 2011. "Experimental Analysis of the Health and Well-being Effects of a Non-contributory Social Security Program," Working Papers 903, RAND Corporation.
    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. Ting Yin & Junchao Zhang, 2022. "More Schooling, More Generous? Estimating the Effect of Education on Intergenerational Transfers†," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 22-46, March.

    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. Grimm, Michael & Hartwig, Renate & Reitmann, Ann-Kristin & Bocoum, Fadima Yaya, 2021. "Inter-household transfers: An empirical investigation of the income-transfer relationship with novel data from Burkina Faso," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    2. Nikolov, Plamen & Adelman, Alan, 2019. "Do private household transfers to the elderly respond to public pension benefits? Evidence from rural China," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 14(C).
    3. Kristopher Gerardi & Yuping Tsai, 2014. "The Effect of Social Entitlement Programmes on Private Transfers: New Evidence of Crowding Out," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(324), pages 721-746, October.
    4. Lai, Mun Sim & Orsuwan, Meechai, 2009. "Examining the Impact of Taiwan's Cash Allowance Program on Private Households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1250-1260, July.
    5. Sandra García & Jorge Cuartas, 2017. "With a Little Help from my Friends: the Multiplier Effect of Public Subsidies through Private Support," Documentos de trabajo 017647, Escuela de Gobierno - Universidad de los Andes.
    6. Pelek, Selin & Polat, Sezgin, 2019. "Exploring inter-household transfers:An assessment using panel data from Turkey," GIAM Working Papers 00-0, Galatasaray University Economic Research Center.
    7. Hungerman, Daniel M., 2014. "Public goods, hidden income, and tax evasion: Some nonstandard results from the warm-glow model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 188-202.
    8. Aldieri, Luigi & Fiorillo, Damiano, 2015. "Private monetary transfers and altruism: An empirical investigation on Italian families," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-15.
    9. La, Hai Anh & Xu, Ying, 2017. "Remittances, social security, and the crowding-out effect: Evidence from Vietnam," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 42-59.
    10. Sébastien Grobon & François-Charles Wolff, 2022. "Do public scholarships crowd out parental transfers? Evidence from France," Post-Print halshs-03623525, HAL.
    11. Juarez, Laura, 2009. "Crowding out of private support to the elderly: Evidence from a demogrant in Mexico," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 454-463, April.
    12. Laura Juarez, 2007. "Altruism, Exchange and Crowding Out of Private Support to the Elderly: Evidence from a Demogrant in Mexico," Working Papers 0707, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    13. Ana Fernandes, 2011. "Altruism, labor supply and redistributive neutrality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1443-1469, October.
    14. Elin Halvorsen & Thor O. Thoresen, 2011. "Parents' Desire to Make Equal Inter Vivos Transfers," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 57(1), pages 121-155, March.
    15. Pedro Orraca-Romano, 2015. "Does access to free health insurance crowd-out private transfers? Evidence from Mexico’s Seguro Popular," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 24(1), pages 1-34, December.
    16. Edwin Fourrier-Nicolai, 2020. "How Family Transfers Crowd-out Social Assistance in Germany," AMSE Working Papers 2023, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France.
    17. Wolff, Francois-Charles & Laferrere, Anne, 2006. "Microeconomic models of family transfers," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, in: S. Kolm & Jean Mercier Ythier (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Giving, Altruism and Reciprocity, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 889-969, Elsevier.
    18. Jing You & Miguel Niño‐Zarazúa, 2019. "The Intergenerational Impact of China's New Rural Pension Scheme," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 45(S1), pages 47-95, December.
    19. Arrondel, Luc & Masson, Andre, 2006. "Altruism, exchange or indirect reciprocity: what do the data on family transfers show?," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, in: S. Kolm & Jean Mercier Ythier (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Giving, Altruism and Reciprocity, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 971-1053, Elsevier.
    20. Steven J. Haider & Kathleen McGarry, 2005. "Recent Trends in Resource Sharing Among the Poor," NBER Working Papers 11612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    life cycle; retirement; social protection; developing countries; crowdout effect; inter vivos transfers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis

    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:zbw:glodps:505. 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/glabode.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: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.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.