Welfare and Poverty Impacts of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: Evidence from Andhra Pradesh, India
38 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2013 Last revised: 12 May 2017
Date Written: May 2017
India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) is one of the largest public works programs globally. Understanding the impacts of NREGS and the pathway through which its impacts are realized thus has important policy implications. We use a three-round 4,000-household panel from Andhra Pradesh together with administrative data to explore short- and medium-term poverty and welfare effects of NREGS. Triple difference estimates suggest that participants significantly increase consumption (protein and energy intake) in the short run and accumulate more nonfinancial assets in the medium term. Direct benefits exceed program-related transfers and are most pronounced for scheduled castes and tribes and households supplying casual labor. Asset creation via program-induced land improvements is consistent with a medium-term increase in assets by nonparticipants and increases in wage income in excess of program cost.
Keywords: Economic development, employment, Governance, Labor market, Public investment, rural areas, social policies, social safety nets, India, South Asia, Asia
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