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Productive effects of public works programs: What do we know? What should we know?

Esther Gehrke () and Renate Hartwig

World Development, 2018, vol. 107, issue C, 111-124

Abstract: Public Works (PW) programs are popular development interventions due to their potential ‘double dividend’ of transferring income to the poor while at the same time creating public infrastructure. However, PW programs are costly and demanding from an administrative perspective and it is not clear whether they are the most cost-effective intervention to reduce poverty. Therefore, an assessment of PW programs needs to understand which benefits and costs these programs entail relative to other interventions, and whether or not the extra cost can be outweighed by generating benefits over and above those of alternative interventions, such as Cash Transfer programs.

Keywords: Public Works programs; Investment; Wages; Skills; Public goods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J2 J4 H4 O1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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