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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Nathan Fiala

University of Connecticut
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Storrs, CT 06269

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Institutional Affiliation: University of Connecticut

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2018The Long Term Impacts of Grants on Poverty: 9-year Evidence From Uganda's Youth Opportunities Program
with Christopher Blattman, Sebastian Martinez: w24999
In 2008, Uganda granted hundreds of small groups $400/person to help members start individual skilled trades. Four years on, an experimental evaluation found grants raised earnings by 38% (Blattman, Fiala, Martinez 2014). We return after 9 years to find these start-up grants acted more as a kick-start than a lift out of poverty. Grantees' investment leveled off; controls eventually increased their incomes through business and casual labor; and so both groups converged in employment, earnings, and consumption. Grants had lasting impacts on assets, skilled work, and possibly child health, but had little effect on mortality, fertility, health or education.
January 2017Do Anti-Poverty Programs Sway Voters? Experimental Evidence from Uganda
with Christopher Blattman, Mathilde Emeriau: w23035
A Ugandan government program allowed groups of young people to submit proposals to start skilled enterprises. Among 535 eligible proposals, the government randomly selected 265 to receive grants of nearly $400 per person. Blattman et al. (2014) showed that, after four years, the program raised employment by 17% and earnings 38%. This paper shows that, rather than rewarding the government in elections, beneficiaries increased opposition party membership, campaigning, and voting. Higher incomes are associated with opposition support, and we hypothesize that financial independence frees the poor to express political preferences publicly, being less reliant on patronage and other political transfers.

Published: Christopher Blattman & Mathilde Emeriau & Nathan Fiala, 2018. "Do Anti-Poverty Programs Sway Voters? Experimental Evidence from Uganda," The Review of Economics and Statistics, vol 100(5), pages 891-905. citation courtesy of

 
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