Debunking the Stereotype of the Lazy Welfare Recipient: Evidence from Cash Transfer Programs Worldwide

27 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2015

See all articles by Abhijit V. Banerjee

Abhijit V. Banerjee

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics

Rema Hanna

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Gabriel Kreindler

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics, Students

Benjamin A. Olken

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Harvard University - Society of Fellows

Date Written: December 14, 2015

Abstract

Targeted transfer programs for poor citizens have become increasingly common in the developing world. Yet, a common concern among policy makers – both in developing as well as developed countries – is that such programs tend to discourage work. We re-analyze the data from 7 randomized controlled trials of government-run cash transfer programs in six developing countries throughout the world, and find no systematic evidence that cash transfer programs discourage work.

Keywords: Microfinance, Cash Transfers, Welfare, Poverty, Inequality, Development, Developing World

Suggested Citation

Banerjee, Abhijit V. and Hanna, Rema and Kreindler, Gabriel and Olken, Benjamin A., Debunking the Stereotype of the Lazy Welfare Recipient: Evidence from Cash Transfer Programs Worldwide (December 14, 2015). HKS Working Paper No. 076. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2703447 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2703447

Abhijit V. Banerjee

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
Room E52-252D
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-8855 (Phone)
617-253-6915 (Fax)

Rema Hanna (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Gabriel Kreindler

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

Benjamin A. Olken

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
E52-391
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-6833 (Phone)
617-253-1330 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-588-1407 (Phone)

Harvard University - Society of Fellows

Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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