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Working Paper

Comparing Cash and Voucher Transfers in a Humanitarian Context : Evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo

RISKS HOUSEHOLD SIZE HOUSEHOLD SURVEY VILLAGES STANDARD ERROR FOOD CONSUMPTION BREAD INCOME AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION COUNTERFACTUAL INCOME ON FOOD SERVICES INCOME TRANSFERS WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME CASSAVA HOUSING POLITICAL ECONOMY DEATH FOOD POLICY FOOD STAMPS NEIGHBORHOOD HEALTH IFPRI PROJECTS PROJECT NEIGHBORHOODS COLLECTION ACTIVITIES RURAL POPULATION CONFLICT MEASURES HOUSEHOLD DEMOGRAPHICS SAFETY NETS INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE POVERTY REDUCTION MAIZE LIVESTOCK OWNERSHIP YAMS SAVINGS TRAINING DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS FOOD POLICY RESEARCH HOUSEHOLD HEAD INTERVENTION INCOME SHOCK POVERTY PROGRAMS TRANSFERS STANDARD ERRORS PALM OIL MARKETS HOUSEHOLD INCOME FRUITS VEGETABLES ANTI-POVERTY HOUSEHOLD SURVEYS FOOD EXPENDITURES SOCIAL SECURITY POLITICAL FEASIBILITY GRAINS FOOD PRODUCTS CASH TRANSFERS FOOD AID FOOD ITEMS DESIGN FOOD AID PROGRAMS NUTRITIONAL STATUS SOCIAL SAFETY NETS FOOD SECURITY HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY FAIRS BASIC NEEDS PARTICIPATION GENDER INCOME-GENERATING ACTIVITIES TUBERS DRIED FISH HYGIENE PEANUTS RURAL POVERTY HOUSEHOLD TRANSFER AMOUNTS AGRICULTURE MALNUTRITION RURAL NUTRITION WFP TRANSACTION COSTS EGGS MARKET FOOD TRANSFERS FOOD PORK TRANSFER PROGRAMS FOOD PROGRAMMES CONDIMENTS IDIOSYNCRATIC SHOCKS AGRICULTURAL INPUTS SCHOOL FEEDING TARGETING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CONSUMPTION SMOOTHING WAR CORN SUPERMARKETS HOUSEHOLDS EQUALITY RURAL AREAS POVERTY MEAT HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION RICE CASH TRANSFER PROGRAMS INTERVENTIONS COMMUNITY POOR STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE FOOD PRICES SAFETY FOODS FLOUR FEMALE SERVICE GAUGE RURAL POVERTY REDUCTION POTATO DISPLACED PERSONS POVERTY ALLEVIATION EXTREME VULNERABILITY SUGAR
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Congo, Democratic Republic of
2015-11-05T20:04:46Z | 2015-11-05T20:04:46Z | 2015-10

Despite recent calls in support of cash transfers, there is little rigorous evidence of the relative impacts of cash versus in-kind transfers, especially in humanitarian contexts, where a majority of such programs take place. This paper uses data from a randomized experiment in the Democratic Republic of Congo to assess the relative impacts and costs of equivalently valued cash and voucher transfers. The voucher program distorted households’ purchases along both the extensive and intensive margin as compared with unconstrained cash households. Yet there were no differences in food consumption or other measures of well-being, in part due to the fact that voucher households were able to resell part of what they purchased. As there were no significant benefits to vouchers, cash transfers were the more cost effective modality for both the implementing agency and program recipients in this context.

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