The household and individual-level productive impacts of cash transfer programs in sub-saharan Africa

This article brings together evidence from seven experimental and non-experimental impact evaluations of government-run unconditional cash transfer programs in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The unique focus on productive impacts of cash transfer programs was introduced into these evaluations by the From Protection to Production (PtoP) research project, itself part of the broader Transfer Project, a joint Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UNICEF, and University of North Carolina effort to support and systemize lessons from impact evaluations of cash transfer programs in SSA. Our article adds value to the current literature by combining evidence from evaluations with similar outcomes and analysis, focusing on seven large government-run unconditional cash transfers in SSA, a typology of program and geographic area less present in the literature. We rigorously identify the response of households and individuals to income changes and link study findings to testable hypotheses about how impacts on productive decisions, labor supply, and risk-coping strategies differ across settings.