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The Long Term Impacts of Grants on Poverty: 9-Year Evidence from Uganda’s Youth Opportunities Program
- American Economic Review: Insights (Forthcoming)
In 2008, Uganda gave $400/person to thousands of young people to help them start
skilled trades, work more, and raise incomes. Four years on, an experimental evaluation
found grants raised work by 17% and earnings by 38% (Blattman, Fiala, Martinez
2014). After 9 years, we find these gains have dissipated. Grantees’ investment leveled
off; controls eventually increased their incomes through business and casual labor; and
so both groups converged in employment, earnings, and consumption levels. We see
little effect on mortality, fertility, or family health and education. However, grants had
lasting impacts on durable asset stocks and skilled work.
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