The Long Term Impacts of Grants on Poverty: 9-Year Evidence from Uganda's Youth Opportunities Program

69 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2018 Last revised: 7 Apr 2019

See all articles by Christopher Blattman

Christopher Blattman

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

Nathan Fiala

University of Connecticut - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Sebastian Martinez

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 5, 2019

Abstract

There is growing enthusiasm for cash grants as a tool to tackle poverty globally, but we have little sense whether the promising short-run impacts persist in the long term. In 2008, Uganda gave $400/person to thousands of young people, to help them start skilled trades. Four years on, an experimental evaluation found grants raised earnings by 38% (Blattman, Fiala, Martinez 2014). We return after 9 years to find these start-up grants raised earnings and consumption temporarily only. Grantees’ investment leveled off; controls eventually increased their incomes through business and casual labor; and so both groups converged in employment, earnings, and consumption. Grants had lasting impacts on assets, skilled work, and possibly child health, but had little effect on mortality, fertility, health or education.

Keywords: Employment, Poverty, Entrepreneurship, Cash Transfers, Occupational Choice, Uganda, Field Experiment, Labor Market Programs, Health, Education, Uganda

JEL Classification: J24, O12, D13, C93

Suggested Citation

Blattman, Christopher and Fiala, Nathan and Martinez, Sebastian, The Long Term Impacts of Grants on Poverty: 9-Year Evidence from Uganda's Youth Opportunities Program (April 5, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3223028 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3223028

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

Nathan Fiala

University of Connecticut - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ( email )

Sebastian Martinez

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Ave
Washington, DC 20011
United States

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