Can the Major Public Works Policy Buffer Negative Shocks in Early Childhood? Evidence from Andhra Pradesh, India

Posted: 18 Jan 2018 Last revised: 20 Jan 2018

Date Written: April 28, 2017

Abstract

The study examines the role of the largest public works program in the world—the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS)—in buffering the negative effects of early childhood exposure to rainfall shocks on long-term health outcomes. Exploiting the spatial and temporal variation in NREGS coverage, the study estimates the extent to which nutritional shocks in early childhood can be offset by access to the program. The study employs a unique identification strategy by integrating detailed administrative records of drought shock and phased rollout information of NREGS with household-level panel data—the Young Lives survey—conducted over three waves (2002, 2007, and 2009–10) in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Using individual fixed effects estimation, the study finds that while the policy does not help correct for long-term past health deficiencies it is useful in buffering recent drought shocks, which vary by policy relevant subgroups.

Suggested Citation

Dasgupta, Aparajita, Can the Major Public Works Policy Buffer Negative Shocks in Early Childhood? Evidence from Andhra Pradesh, India (April 28, 2017). Economics Development and Cultural Change, Vol. 65, No. 4, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3100732

Aparajita Dasgupta (Contact Author)

Ashoka University ( email )

University Campus, Plot #2,
Rajiv Gandhi Education City
Kundli, Haryana 131028
India

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