Panel Paper: Local Spillovers from Cash Transfer Programs: Food Price Increases and Nutrition Impacts on Non-Beneficiary Children

Monday, June 13, 2016 : 12:10 PM
Clement House, 3rd Floor, Room 04 (London School of Economics)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Deon Filmer, Jed Friedman, Eeshani Kandpal and Junko Onishi, World Bank
Cash transfer programs targeted to poor households may increase price levels, especially if local markets are not fully integrated into larger regional markets. Using data from the evaluation of a Philippine cash transfer program, we show that the prices of perishable protein rich foods exhibit moderate increases after program introduction. Likely as a result, anthropometric measures of child health, notably stunting rates, worsen among non-beneficiary children. These effects are not short-run but persist up to 31 months after program introduction. Failing to consider the effect of such local price increases on non-beneficiaries’ wellbeing can overstate the impact of cash transfers. For very poor areas, where household targeting of cash transfers covers a majority of the households, geographic targeting may avoid the consequences of local market price spillovers and consequently prevent nutrition and longer-run impacts at little additional cost.

Full Paper: