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"We’re All in This Together”: Addressing Poverty in Village Economies, with Mahreen Mahmud

Emma Riley, University of Michigan
Thursday, March 7, 2024
4:00-5:20 PM
201 Lorch Hall Map
To date, most anti-poverty programs have focused on targeting only the very poorest households in a community, an approach that limits their scalability to raise incomes and productivity more broadly within entire communities, considerably adds to their cost, may be undone by household transfers to each other, and is often seen as unfair as households frequently move into and out of poverty. We ask whether household welfare is improved from a universal anti-poverty program, rather than a program targeted at only the poorest. In order to answer this question, we will use a clustered Randomized Control Trial of a universal anti-poverty program with nearly 4,000 households across 335 highly impoverished villages in rural Uganda. The program we consider, provided to everyone in eligible communities, offers a package of support including agricultural and livestock inputs and training; health education and entrepreneurship support. We examine the effects of the programme 2-3 years after its start, finding large positive effects throughout the distribution, with average incomes increasing 25%, wealth increasing 36% and consumption increasing 10%. There are also large positive impacts on a range of social welfare measures, including physical and mental health, hunger and nutrition and community engagement. At a cost of only 280 USD PPP per household, this program is a cost-effective and scalable way to alleviate extreme poverty.

This talk is presented by the Economic Development Seminar, sponsored in part by the Department of Economics through a generous gift given by Jay and Beth Rakow. This talk is also sponsored by the International Policy Center at the Ford School.
Building: Lorch Hall
Event Type: Workshop / Seminar
Tags: Development, Economics, seminar
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Department of Economics, Economic Development Seminar, Department of Economics Seminars