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Development Discussion Paper
Incentive and crowding out effects of food assistance: Evidence from randomized evaluation of food-for-training project in Southern Sudan
Munshi Sulaiman December 2010
Paper No' EOPP 019:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: J22, O12, Q18.l

Tags: food assistance; incentive; crowding-out; southern sudan

Food assistance is one of the most common forms of safety net programs in postconflict situations. Besides the humanitarian and promotional roles, there are widespread scepticisms of food assistance regarding its possible influence on disincentive to work and on crowding out of private transfers. While there is a relatively large amount of empirical research on social protection in stable context, it is less researched in post-conflict situations. Based on randomized evaluation of a food-for-training program implemented in Southern Sudan, this paper estimates these effects. We observe a significant negative impact (about 13%) on per capita household income. However, there is no effect on the hours of work or the type of the economic activities of the adult members. The decline in income mostly happened through a reduction in child labor. There is also a positive effect on school enrolment for girls (about 10 percentage points) and an improvement in their housing status. We also do not find any indication of crowding out of private transfers for the participants. This is most likely due to the extent of private transfers being very low to begin with. However, there is a small but significant impact of the transfers given out by the participants.