A Tale of Two Programs: Assessing Treatment and Control in NREGA Studies

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Abstract

This article revisits impact evaluation studies on the largest public workfare in the world, NREGA. In an environment where randomization is not feasible, I show why an impact evaluation exercise on NREGA should acknowledge the existence of an older program, SGRY. Using novel district-level expenditure data on SGRY, this article shows how ignoring the older program is likely to underestimate the general equilibrium impact of the employment policy on various relevant socioeconomic outcomes. In most cases, ignoring SGRY underestimates NREGA’s impact by 30–40 percent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-532
Number of pages19
JournalThe World Bank Economic Review
Volume36
Issue number2
Early online date6 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

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