The Impact of Cash and Food Transfers: Evidence from a Randomized Intervention in Niger
32 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2014 Last revised: 21 Aug 2014
Date Written: April 11, 2014
There is little rigorous evidence on the comparative impacts of cash and food transfers on food security and food-related outcomes. We assess the relative impacts of receiving cash versus food transfers using a randomized design. Drawing on data collected in eastern Niger, we find that households randomized to receive a food basket experienced larger, positive impacts on measures of food consumption and diet quality than those receiving the cash transfer. Receiving food also reduced the use of a number of coping strategies. These differences held both at the height of the lean season and after the harvest. However, households receiving cash spent more money on agricultural inputs. Less than 5 percent of food was sold or exchanged for other goods. Food and cash were delivered with the same degree of frequency and timeliness, but the food transfers cost 15 percent more to implement.
Keywords: cash and food transfers, food security, randomized intervention, Building resilience, Niger, West Africa, Africa South of Sahara, Africa
JEL Classification: D04, I38, O12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation