The Impact and Targeting of Social Infrastructure Investments: Lessons from the Nicaraguan Social Fund

Posted: 27 Sep 2003

See all articles by Menno Prasad Pradhan

Menno Prasad Pradhan

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics; University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)

Laura B. Rawlings

World Bank - Latin America & the Caribbean Region

Abstract

The benefit incidence and impact of projects financed by the Nicaraguan Emergency Social Investment Fund are investigated using a sample of beneficiaries, a national household survey, and two distinct comparison groups. The first group is constructed on the basis of geographic proximity between similar facilities and their corresponding communities; the second is drawn from the national Living Standards Measurement Study survey sample using propensity score matching techniques. The analysis finds that the social fund investments in latrines, schools, and health posts are targeted to poor communities and households, whereas those in sewerage are targeted to the better-off. Investments in water systems are poverty-neutral. Education investments have a positive, significant impact on school outcomes regardless of the comparison group used. The results of health investments are less clear. Using one comparison group, the analysis finds that use of health clinics increased as a result of the investments; using both, it finds higher use of clinics for children under age six with diarrhea. With neither comparison group does it find improvements in health outcomes. Social fund investments in water and sanitation improve access to services but have no effect on health outcomes.

Suggested Citation

Pradhan, Menno and Rawlings, Laura B., The Impact and Targeting of Social Infrastructure Investments: Lessons from the Nicaraguan Social Fund. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=434120

Menno Pradhan (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands
+31(0)20 444 6137 (Phone)
+31(0)20 444 6127 (Fax)

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Laura B. Rawlings

World Bank - Latin America & the Caribbean Region ( email )

Washington, DC 20433
United States

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