Economics at your fingertips  

Spatially heterogeneous effects of a public works program

Joshua D. Merfeld

Journal of Development Economics, 2019, vol. 136, issue C, 151-167

Abstract: Most research on labor market effects of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme focuses on outcomes at the district level. This paper shows that such a focus masks substantial spatial heterogeneity: treated villages located near untreated areas see smaller increases in casual wages than treated villages located farther from untreated areas. Spatial differences in implementation or program leakages do not appear to drive this spatial heterogeneity. The effects of the program on private-sector employment display similar intra-district heterogeneity and these effects on employment are highly correlated with the effect on wages. Overall, these results suggest that worker mobility leads a district-level focus to underestimate the true effect of the program on wages. Quantifying this underestimate using two separate methods produces very similar results; the overall effect on wages appears to be approximately twice as large as district-level estimates suggest.

Keywords: India; Public works; Labor; Wages; Spillovers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D50 H53 I38 J38 J46 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Development Economics is currently edited by M. R. Rosenzweig

More articles in Journal of Development Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

Page updated 2019-01-12
Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:136:y:2019:i:c:p:151-167