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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 undernourishment in a sample of African countries. We apply the synthetic control method to compare changes in the post-intervention undernourishment trajectories of economies affected by CT programmes relative to their unaffected counterparts. The results suggest that CT programmes exert significant effects on the prevalence of undernourishment in low-income and fragile sub-Saharan countries, whereas lesser important and more articulated it is the impact on the dietary energy supply adequacy. Robustness analysis via placebo experiments confirms the soundness of our results, and their implications for policymakers are discussed.

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