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Question of the Week 13

What are promising examples of improved employability as a result of social protection programmes?

Reactions (4)

Franziska Gassmann - Maastricht University
2016-09-27 09:53

Contrary to widely held perceptions, social protection does not create negative labor market incentives in developing countries. Searching for employment generates transaction costs, which might exceed the financial resources of a household. Think, for example, of the costs related to sending an application, paying for transport to get to the job interview and the need for decent clothing to make a good first impression. Evidence from South Africa points at a 11% increase in labor market participation in households receiving the social pension ... read more »

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Armando Barrientos - GDI, University of Manchester
2016-09-29 18:44

As Franziska's answer notes, the weight of studies on the impact of social assistance programmes on adult labour supply indicate there are at best marginal effects from programme participation. This applies to adults of working age. The situation is different if we focus on children and older people. With variations across countries and programmes, participation in ccts is likely to reduce child labour. Social pensions reduce the labour force participation of recipients, even though in most programmes this is not a requisite for entitlement. Re... read more »

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Valentina Barca - Oxford Policy Management
2016-10-7 15:54

While focused on cash transfers alone, our 2016 systematic review of the impacts of 56 programmes across 30 countries on employment outcomes shows that - for evaluations showing significant effects among adults of working age - the majority find an increase in work participation and intensity. In the cases in which a reduction in work participation or work intensity is reported, these reflect a reduction in participation among the elderly, those caring for dependents, or they are the result of reductions in casual work. It should be noted, howe... read more »

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2016-10-19 12:28

Many thanks to all contributors to this Question of the week for their informative comments.
A short summary of contributions to the discussion so far finds that the main effect of social protection programmes on labour market participation is a re-arrangement of household labour resources in response to these programmes. For adults this rearrangement is marginal, and can actually increase work participation and intensity. For children and the elderly studies show that labour market participation is likely to be reduced. Other reasons ... read more »

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