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Social Protection and Social Distancing During the Pandemic: Mobile Money Transfers in Ghana

Dean Karlan, Matt Lowe, Robert Osei, Isaac Osei-Akoto, Benjamin N. Roth and Christopher Udry

No 30309, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We study the impact of mobile money transfers to a representative sample of low-income Ghanaians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement of the upcoming transfers affects neither consumption, well-being, nor social distancing. Once disbursed, transfers increase food expenditure by 8%, income by 20%, and a social distancing index by 0.08 standard deviations. Over 40% of the transfers were spent on food. The positive effects on income mostly persist at final measurement, eight months after the last transfer. Together, we learn that cash transfers can support households economically while also promoting adherence to public health protocols during a pandemic.

JEL-codes: H51 H84 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-mfd, nep-mon and nep-pay
Note: DEV EH LS PE
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

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