Does workfare work? India's employment guarantee during COVID‐19

Submitted by pmassetti on

Journal of International Development (nov 2021) As many other countries, India leverages on a pre-existingworkfare programme as a COVID-19 response. We com-bine monthly administrative data with migration and pov-erty statistics and provide four insights on the recent expansion of the programme. First, poorer districts includemore households, that is, increasing extensive margin. Sec-ond, in districts with a high proportion of return migrants,there is no increase, and third, unmet demand for work is higher than the national average of 22.7%. Fourth, despite the expansion, the programme provided just 13.5 days per rural household. The programme requires attention to fulfilits promise as a credible safety net.

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