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AUTHOR(S)

Sudhanshu Handa; Silvio Daidone; Amber Peterman; Benjamin Davis; Audrey Pereira; Tia Palermo; Jennifer Yablonski
UNICEF -
LANGUAGE:
English
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ABSTRACT

 

In this paper we summarize evidence on six perceptions associated with cash transfer programming, using eight rigorous evaluations conducted on large-scale government unconditional cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa, under the Transfer Project. Specifically, we investigate if transfers: 1) induce higher spending on alcohol or tobacco; 2) are fully consumed (rather than invested); 3) create dependency (reduce participation in productive activities); 4) increase fertility; 5) lead to negative community-level economic impacts (including price distortion and inflation), and 6) are fiscally unsustainable. We present evidence refuting each claim, leading to the conclusion that these perceptions – insofar as they are utilized in policy debates – undercut potential improvements in well-being and livelihood strengthening among the poor, which these programmes can bring about in sub-Saharan Africa, and globally. We conclude by underscoring outstanding research gaps and policy implications for the continued expansion of unconditional cash transfers in the region and beyond.

 

SERIESInnocenti Working Papers
SERIES No. 2017-11
DATE OF PUBLICATION2017
PAGES40