Do Cash Transfer Programs Protect from Poverty in the Case of Aggregate Shocks?

Cash transfer programs are regarded as providing effective protection against poverty and household-specific negative income shocks. Little research has been done on their performance in situations of aggregate negative shocks. This paper assesses the performance of the Philippines’ Conditional Cash Transfer Program in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Using triple difference techniques, it finds that the program effectively protected households affected by the storm from falling into extreme poverty. It had the largest effect on nonfood consumption.