Social Cash Transfers and Household Welfare: Evidence from Zambia's Oldest Scheme

Gelson Tembo, Nicholas Freeland, Bernadette Chimai, Esther Schüring


Social cash transfers (SCTs) are considered a priority in least-developed countries, where the gap between the need for basic social protection and existing provisions is greatest. This study represents one of the first comprehensive treatments of the impact of social cash transfers in low-income sub-Saharan Africa, and the first for Zambia's oldest SCT scheme. The results, based on propensity score matching and fully efficient odds-weighted regression, and data from the Kalomo SCT pilot scheme, confirm positive SCT effects on per capita consumption expenditure. We also discover threshold effects with SCT mostly impacting food expenditure among poorer beneficiary households and non-food expenditure among wealthier beneficiaries.

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Applied Economics and Finance    ISSN 2332-7294 (Print)   ISSN 2332-7308 (Online)

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