Can Social Protection Work in Africa? Evidence on the Impact of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme on Food Security, Assets and Incentives

63 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2009

See all articles by Daniel O. Gilligan

Daniel O. Gilligan

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

John Hoddinott

Cornell University, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Students

Neha Kumar

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse

International Fool Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) - CGIAR

Date Written: August 18, 2009

Abstract

This paper evaluates a large social protection program in rural Ethiopia, the Productive Safety Nets Programme (PSNP). The effectiveness of the PSNP is of interest because the program was implemented at scale in one of Africa’s poorest countries, with limited physical and communications infrastructure, and scarce administrative resources. We estimate the impact of the PSNP on food security, assets, and disincentives for work and private transfers from 2006-2008 using covariate nearest neighbor matching estimators. We test for heterogeneity in program impacts by estimating average impacts on all beneficiaries, dosage effects on those receiving high levels of transfers, and incremental impacts on households that also received complementary transfers intended to boost agricultural investment. We find that the PSNP has modest average impacts, improving food security, increasing growth in livestock holdings and improving households’ ability to raise funds in an emergency. Program impacts on asset accumulation are greater when higher levels of transfers are received and when participants have access to the PSNP and complementary agricultural services. Ethiopia’s experience suggests that it is possible to implement large social protection in Africa, but that impacts depend on infrastructure, administrative and design constraints.

Keywords: PSNP, Ethiopia, social protection, food security, assets, disincentives

JEL Classification: I38, J22, O12

Suggested Citation

Gilligan, Daniel O. and Hoddinott, John and Kumar, Neha and Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum, Can Social Protection Work in Africa? Evidence on the Impact of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme on Food Security, Assets and Incentives (August 18, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1457172 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1457172

Daniel O. Gilligan

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

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John Hoddinott (Contact Author)

Cornell University, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Students ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

Neha Kumar

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse

International Fool Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) - CGIAR ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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