This paper aims at evaluating the impact of two different cash transfer programs in rural Mexico – Procampo and Progresa – on total consumption, food consumption and other outcomes like investment, schooling and health care. Progresa is targeted to women, while Procampo goes to farmers, mostly men and many of which are poor. We show that both programs boost consumption. However, they obtain this effect through different channels. Progresa is destined to consumption expenditure directly, while Procampo, which is paid to landholders, boosts investments and needs time to produce its benefits. Furthermore, we separate program from gender effects and show that cash transfer programs targeted to men are beneficial only when the recipients own means of production. This suggest that policy makers should take into account the relationship between gender and ownership of assets when designing poverty reduction programs.
Interesting blog and link to Ben Davis’ paper, The Lure of Tequila or Motherly Love: Does It Matter Whether Public Cash Transfers Are Given to Women or Men?.
Chakravarty, Abhishek (2010) The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy: Vol. 10 : Iss. 1 (Topics), Article 88.
This paper examines whether a permanent increase in the supply of immunisations reduces or intensifies the gender bias in immunisation against female children in India. It also investigates the effect of duration of exposure to the supply shock on gender bias. The variation in the implementation of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme across both regions and time is exploited for the analysis. Estimations use data from the 2005-06 Measure DHS survey in India. We find that the increased supply of vaccinations due to the programme initially increases the gender inequality in immunisation but that this increase disappears over time. Our results indicate that the programme has saved approximately 1.72-1.84 million children, of which about 70% are boys.
Available at: http://www.bepress.com/bejeap/vol10/iss1/art88
“Last year, the New York Times splashed stark images of child malnutrition in India’s hinterland across its front page. More recently, another front-page article in the Times reminded the world that India’s hunger problem hasn’t gone anywhere and told the story of how various social-safety-net programs have failed to help. As the article explains, India still faces endemic problems with chronic malnutrition and hunger — rates of child nutrition here compare unfavorably with many countries in sub-Saharan Africa — that government initiatives have failed to address….Gender is a problem as well. Research has shown that empowering women is one of the most effective ways to improve nutrition, especially for children. Studies by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), where I work, have demonstrated that the low status of women contributes to hunger and malnutrition — not just among the women themselves, but among their children too”
by: Purnima Menon
“Which makes for a more effective social safety net program: transfers of food, cash, or both? The question is hardly academic. Governments, international agencies, and non-governmental organizations confront it frequently. In recent years, many have begun favoring cash transfers over food aid. Cash transfers are cheaper, require less administrative capacity, and allow poor households to decide how the money should be spent. But are they always the most effective means of improving the lives and livelihoods of very poor people?
In a DFID-funded study, researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) studied four programs that provided food, cash, or a combination of the two in Bangladesh. They compared the programs’ impact on food security, livelihoods, and women’s empowerment, and evaluated how accurately the poor were targeted, how well the transfers were delivered, and which transfers beneficiaries preferred. They also considered how the benefits of transfers were distributed within households. Continue reading →
The Chronic Poverty and Long Term Impact Study in Bangladesh project, which focuses on 102 villages characteristic of rural Bangladesh, aims to further our understanding of the economic, social and political processes that shape chronic poverty in Bangladesh together with the impact of selected anti-poverty interventions on poverty dynamics. After initial community level fieldwork approximately 1,907 core households first surveyed in 1994, 1996, or 2000 were interviewed in late 2006 to ascertain how their living standards, endowment and other characteristics have changed over time and what role selected interventions have had on their welfare trajectories. 365 households who had split from their original households were also interviewed Detailed life-histories were then collected from a stratified sub-sample of approximately 293 adult men and women living in 161 households in order to better understand which events, institutions and processes have trapped certain households in chronic poverty while allowing others to escape from it. By analysing the results of the community level focus groups, panel survey and life-histories interviews together, a much fuller and more nuanced understanding of chronic poverty and the impact of the selected interventions is produced. Continue reading →