WIDER Seminar Series - Kalle Hirvonen on large-scale social protection inverventions

Abstract – The impact of large-scale social protection interventions on grain prices in poor countries: Evidence from Ethiopia

Social protection programmes serve a number of functions. They reduce poverty and food insecurity, prevent transitory shocks from having long-term adverse consequences, and potentially provide a platform for asset accumulation. Yet, there are persistent concerns about the adverse impacts that these interventions can have. One such concern relates to the impact that social protection transfers may have on food markets. While there is a relatively large body of literature that studies the impact of aggregate food aid flows on national markets, little work has been done on the effects of cash transfers on local food prices, and even less on how they compare to food transfers. In this paper, we study the impact of cash and food transfers on local grain prices. We do so in the context of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) – one of the largest social protection programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. 

WIDER Seminar Series

The WIDER Seminar Series showcases recent and ongoing work on key topics in development economics. The weekly sessions held in Helsinki are open to local and visiting researchers, policy makers, and others interested in development topics.