The short-term impact of unconditional cash transfers: a replication study of a randomized controlled trial in Kenya

Hongmei Wang, Jiangtao Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Haushofer and Shapiro examined the short-term impacts of Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) and the differential impacts by transfer recipient’s gender, timing (monthly versus lump sum) and magnitude, using data collected in a randomised controlled trial from 2011 to 2012 in rural Kenya. The study found the UCT to increase assets, consumption, revenue, food security, and psychological well-being indices, but to have no overall effects on health, education, or female empowerment indices. Compared to lump-sum transfers, monthly transfers improved food security but reduced asset holdings. Large transfers, when compared to small transfers, increased asset holdings and improved the psychological well-being index. This replication study reexamined the main findings of Haushofer and Shapiro’s and reported consistent findings on the overall effects of the UCT and the differences across treatment arms. These findings are sustained in rigorous robustness checks, however, the Principal Component Analysis results suggest a need for further examination of the method of measuring food security, health and psychological well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-408
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Development Effectiveness
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019

Keywords

  • Cash transfer
  • assets
  • consumption
  • health
  • income
  • psychological wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development

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