NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Robson H. Morgan

Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research
University of Southern California
635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2017Wealthier, Happier and More Self-Sufficient: When Anti-Poverty Programs Improve Economic and Subjective Wellbeing at a Reduced Cost to Taxpayers
with Titus J. Galama, Juan E. Saavedra: w24090
We document how an anti-poverty program improves economic and subjective wellbeing, and self-sufficiency. Familias en Accion Urbano, a conditional cash transfer program implemented at scale in the country of Colombia, uses a means-test cutoff score selection rule that provides exogenous variation in program participation. We reproduce the score assignment rule in a nationally representative living standards household survey that measures multiple dimensions of economic and evaluative wellbeing. Three years into the program, beneficiary households at the margin report greater income, consumption and formal employment participation for both the household head and partner. Household income increased by ten times the amount of the government transfer, likely because of gains in formal employme...
 
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