1887

Innocenti Working Papers

The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre (IRC) was created to strengthen UNICEF's research capability and to support its advocacy for children worldwide. The Working Papers (formerly Innocenti Occasional Papers), are the foundation of the Centre's research output, underpinning many of the Centre's other publications. These high quality research papers are aimed at an academic and well-informed audience, contributing to ongoing discussion on a wide range of child-related issues.

English

Can Unconditional Cash Transfers Lead to Sustainable Poverty Reduction?

Evidence from Two Government-Led Programmes in Zambia

Worldwide close to 800 million people are reached by state-operated cash transfer programmes. In sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest region in the world, the number of cash transfer programmes has doubled in the last five years and reaches close to 50 million people. What is the impact of these programmes, and do they offer a sustained pathway out of ultra-poverty? In this paper we examine these questions using experimental data from two unconditional cash transfer programmes implemented by the Government of Zambia. We find far-reaching effects of these two programmes, not just on their primary objective, food security and consumption, but also on a range of productive and economic outcomes. After three years, we observe that household spending is 59 per cent larger than the value of the transfer received, implying a sizeable multiplier effect. These multipliers work through increased non-farm business activity and agricultural production.

English

Keywords: unconditional cash transfers, Zambia, poverty reduction, RCTs, protective and productive impacts
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error