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How Did Workers Benefit from Bolivia's Emergency Social Fund?

John Newman, Steen Jorgensen and Menno Pradhan ()

The World Bank Economic Review, 1991, vol. 5, issue 2, 367-93

Abstract: Bolivia's Emergency Social Fund (ESF) was established to cushion the adverse effects on the poor of the economic crisis and subsequent stabilization program in the 1980s and to facilitate transition through the phases of structural adjustment. The ESF provided temporary employment opportunities by funding small-scale, labor-intensive projects that were proposed by local governmental and nongovernmental organizations. This article measures the impact of the ESF program on employment and income of workers in the ESF projects. For the average ESF worker, hourly wages were 12.8 percent higher, the work week was 9.5 hours longer, and weekly earnings were 32 percent higher than what they would have been without the ESF. Taking into account the probability that the individual may not have worked without the ESF leads to larger gains. The greatest benefits from participating in the program were received by those who would have been least well-off without it. Copyright 1991 by Oxford University Press.

Date: 1991
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