Labor-Intensive Public Works Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa: Experiences and Implications for Employment Policies

ZEF Working Paper Series, ISSN 1864-6638 Working Paper 180

72 Pages Posted:

See all articles by Tekalign Sakketa

Tekalign Sakketa

Center for Development Research

Joachim von Braun

University of Bonn - Department of Economic and Technological Change

Date Written: June 12, 2019

Abstract

Public works programs (PWPs) in sub-Saharan African countries have re-emerged as an important policy to stimulate employment generation in addition to their protective role such as consumption smoothening. The paper reviews evidence on the extent to which empirical research can substantiate the claim that labor-intensive PWPs in African countries have important economic benefits. We also refer to the experiences with PWPs in India and China for comparison. We aim to answer the following questions: Do PWPs stimulate job creation and raise earning potentials of beneficiaries? And, how do these programs augment employment generation. Based on our review complemented with secondary data analyses, we conclude that in addition to their role as an effective anti-poverty instrument, labor-intensive PWPs have important roles in mitigating poor labor market outcomes and thus enhance employment creation. Yet we also find that more systematic investigations on short-term implementation outcomes of PWPs are necessary, and – due to externalities that are not captured by short-term assessments at the program level – long-run impacts on employment and development also need more research attention.

Keywords: Employment, Public Works Programs, Social Protection, Africa

JEL Classification: H53, I38, J33, J38

Suggested Citation

Sakketa, Tekalign and von Braun, Joachim, Labor-Intensive Public Works Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa: Experiences and Implications for Employment Policies (June 12, 2019). ZEF Working Paper Series, ISSN 1864-6638 Working Paper 180. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Tekalign Sakketa (Contact Author)

Center for Development Research

United States

Joachim Von Braun

University of Bonn - Department of Economic and Technological Change ( email )

Walter-Flex-Str. 3
Bonn, 53113
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
3
PlumX Metrics