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Comparing the Productive Effects of Cash and Food Transfers in a Crisis Setting: Evidence from a randomized experiment in Yemen

Benjamin Schwab and Office of Research - Innocenti Unicef

Innocenti Working Papers

Abstract: The productive impacts of transfer programmes have received increased attention. However, little is known about such effects in emergency and crisis settings. Even less is known about whether transfer type – a food basket or a cash grant – influences the productive potential of such transfers. Theory suggests that, while cash transfers can relieve liquidity constraints associated with investments, subsidized food provision, by acting as a form of insurance, may prevent households from retreating to conservative income-generating strategies during volatile periods. Using a randomized field experiment in Yemen, we contrast the effects of transfer modality. The results demonstrate a modest productive impact of both modalities and suggest a role for both liquidity and price risk channels. Cash transfer recipients invested relatively more in activities with higher liquidity requirements (livestock), while food recipients incorporated higher-return crops into their agricultural portfolios.

Pages: 11
Date: 2018
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-exp, nep-hea, nep-ias and nep-knm
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Journal Article: Comparing the Productive Effects of Cash and Food Transfers in a Crisis Setting: Evidence from a Randomised Experiment in Yemen (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Comparing the productive effects of cash and food transfers in a crisis setting: Evidence from a randomized experiment in Yemen (2018) Downloads
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