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Social Protection and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Evaluation of Cash Transfer Programmes

d'Agostino, Giorgio and Pieroni, Luca and Scarlato, Margherita (2013): Social Protection and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Evaluation of Cash Transfer Programmes.

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Abstract

This paper evaluates the effects of cash transfer (CT) programmes introduced during the 1990s and 2000s on food security in a sample of sub-Saharan African countries. We apply the synthetic control method to compare changes in the post-intervention food insecurity trajectories of economies affected by CT programmes relative to their unaffected counterparts. The results suggest that CT programmes exert differential effects on the prevalence of undernourishment. Although the estimates in the upper-middle income countries in our sample show mixed effects for the application of CT programmes on food insecurity, these effects appear to be important in low-income and fragile sub-Saharan countries. Robustness analysis via placebo experiments confirms the soundness of our results, and their implications for policymakers are discussed.

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