The Returns to Microenterprise Support Among the Ultra-Poor: A Field Experiment in Post-War Uganda

81 Pages Posted: 23 May 2014 Last revised: 18 Jun 2015

Christopher Blattman

University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Eric Green

Duke Global Health Institute

Julian C. Jamison

World Bank Global Insights Initiative; Innovations for Poverty Action

M. Christian Lehmann

University of Brasília

Jeannie Annan

International Rescue Committee

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 17, 2015

Abstract

We show that extremely poor, war-affected women in northern Uganda have high returns to a package of $150 cash, five days of business skills training, and ongoing supervision. 16 months after grants, participants doubled their microenterprise ownership and incomes, mainly from petty trading. We also show these ultrapoor have too little social capital, but that group bonds, informal insurance, and cooperative activities could be induced and had positive returns. When the control group received cash and training 20 months later, we varied supervision, which represented half of the program costs. A year later, supervision increased business survival but not consumption.

Keywords: Poverty, cash transfers, credit constraints, microenterprises, employment, Africa, active labor market intervention, field experiment

JEL Classification: J24, O12, D13, C93

Suggested Citation

Blattman, Christopher and Green, Eric and Jamison, Julian C. and Lehmann, M. Christian and Annan, Jeannie, The Returns to Microenterprise Support Among the Ultra-Poor: A Field Experiment in Post-War Uganda (June 17, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2439488 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2439488

Christopher Blattman (Contact Author)

University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Eric Green

Duke Global Health Institute ( email )

Box 90519
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Julian C. Jamison

World Bank Global Insights Initiative ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-817-4942 (Phone)

Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )

1731 Connecticut Ave, 4th floor
New Haven, CT 20009
United States

M. Christian Lehmann

University of Brasília ( email )

Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro
Asa Norte
Brasília, Distrito Federal 70910-900
Brazil

HOME PAGE: http://www.christian-lehmann.net/

Jeannie Annan

International Rescue Committee ( email )

New York, NY
United States

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