Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2134779
 


 



Substitution Bias and External Validity: Why an Innovative Anti-Poverty Program Showed No Net Impact


Jonathan Morduch


New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics

Shamika Ravi


Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad

Jonathan Bauchet


New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

August 11, 2011

NYU Wagner Research Paper No. 2134779

Abstract:     
The net impact of development interventions can depend on the availability of close substitutes to the intervention. We analyze a randomized trial of an innovative anti-poverty program in South India which provides “ultra-poor” households with inputs to create a new, sustainable livelihood. We find no statistically significant evidence of lasting net impact on consumption, income or asset accumulation. Instead, income from the new livelihood substituted for earnings from wage labor. A very similar intervention made a large difference elsewhere in South Asia, however, where wage labor alternatives were less compelling. The analysis highlights the roles of substitution bias and dropout bias in shaping evaluation results and delimiting external validity.

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Date posted: August 23, 2012 ; Last revised: July 20, 2013

Suggested Citation

Morduch, Jonathan and Ravi, Shamika and Bauchet, Jonathan, Substitution Bias and External Validity: Why an Innovative Anti-Poverty Program Showed No Net Impact (August 11, 2011). NYU Wagner Research Paper No. 2134779. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2134779 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2134779

Contact Information

Jonathan Morduch
New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )
The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States
(212) 998-7515 (Phone)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )
269 Mercer Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10011
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.nyu.edu/projects/morduch
Shamika Ravi (Contact Author)
Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad ( email )
Gachibowli, Hyderabad 500 032
India

Jonathan Bauchet
New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

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