Jeremy P. Shapiro
Busara Center for Behavioral Economics
Institutional Affiliation: Busara Center for Behavioral Economics
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2019||No Household Left Behind: Afghanistan Targeting the Ultra Poor Impact Evaluation|
with Guadalupe Bedoya, Aidan Coville, Johannes Haushofer, Mohammad Isaqzadeh: w25981
The share of people living in extreme poverty fell from 36 percent in 1990 to 10 percent in 2015 but has continued to increase in many fragile and conflict-affected areas where half of the extreme poor are expected to reside by 2030. These areas are also where the least evidence exists on how to tackle poverty. This paper investigates whether the Targeting the Ultra Poor program can lift households out of poverty in a fragile context: Afghanistan. In 80 villages in Balkh province, 1,219 of the poorest households were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. Women in treatment households received a one-off “big-push” package, including a transfer of livestock assets, cash consumption stipend, skills training, and coaching. One year after the program ended—two years after assets we...
|March 2019||The Income Elasticity for Nutrition: Evidence from Unconditional Cash Transfers in Kenya|
with Ingvild Almås, Johannes Haushofer: w25711
We use a randomized controlled trial to study the effect of large income changes, through unconditional cash transfers, on the food share of expenditures and consumption of calories among poor households in rural Kenya. Our preferred estimate of the food elasticity following USD 709 transfers is 0.78 for expenditure, 0.60 for calories, and 1.29 for protein. Experimental elasticities are lower than cross-sectional estimates. These estimates are unaffected by spillovers or price changes at the village level: results are similar with vs. without an almost ideal demand system, and with a control group in treatment vs. control villages.
|Income Changes and Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence from Unconditional Cash Transfers in Kenya|
with Johannes Haushofer, Charlotte Ringdal, Xiao Yu Wang: w25627
In a previous study, we found an improvement in female empowerment after randomized unconditional cash transfers in Kenya (Haushofer and Shapiro 2016). Here we report detailed impacts of these transfers on physical and sexual intimate partner violence, and construct a theory to explain them. Transfers to women averaging USD 709 reduced physical and sexual violence (-0:26, -0:22 standard deviations). Transfers to men reduced physical violence (-0:18 SD). We find spillovers: physical violence towards non-recipient women in treatment villages decreased (-0:16 SD). We show theoretically that transfers to both men and women are needed to understand why violence occurs. Our theory suggests that husbands use physical violence to extract resources, but dislike it, while sexual violence is not used...