Failure vs. displacement

Why an innovative anti-poverty program showed no net impact in South India

Jonathan Bauchet, Jonathan Morduch, Shamika Ravi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

We analyze a randomized trial of an innovative anti-poverty program in South India, part of a series of pilot programs that provide "ultra-poor" households with inputs to create new, sustainable livelihoods (often tending livestock). In contrast with results from other pilots, we find no lasting net impact on income or asset accumulation in South India. We explore concerns with program implementation, data errors, and the existence of compelling employment alternatives. The baseline consumption data contain systematic errors, and income and consumption contain large outliers. Steps to address the problems leave the central findings largely intact: Wages for unskilled labor rose sharply in the area while the study was implemented, blunting the net impact of the intervention and highlighting one way that treatment effects depend on factors external to the intervention itself, such as broader employment opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Development Economics
Volume116
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Fingerprint

poverty
India
income
employment opportunity
outlier
wage
livelihood
livestock
assets
labor
programme
Poverty
South India
Income
consumption
Sustainable livelihoods
Randomized trial
External factors
Livestock
Unskilled labour

Keywords

  • Dropout
  • External validity
  • Impact evaluation
  • India
  • RCT
  • Ultrapoor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Development

Cite this

Failure vs. displacement : Why an innovative anti-poverty program showed no net impact in South India. / Bauchet, Jonathan; Morduch, Jonathan; Ravi, Shamika.

In: Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 116, 01.09.2015, p. 1-16.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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