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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 on undernourishment in a sample of African countries during the 1990s and 2000s. We apply the synthetic control method to compare changes in the post-intervention undernourishment trajectories of economies affected by CT programmes with countries that are unaffected. The results suggest that CT programmes exert significant effects on the prevalence of undernourishment in low-income sub-Saharan countries, whereas the impact on dietary energy supply adequacy is more articulated. Robustness analysis via placebo experiments confirms the soundness of our results and their implications for policy-makers are also discussed.

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