Welfare and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

Who benefits from South African Child Support Grant: The role of gender and birthweight

Stunting (low height-for-age) is known to be a good proxy for a child’s wellbeing. Several studies have suggested that the South African Child Support Grant (CSG) reduces stunting in benefiting children. However, all of these studies have estimated the impact of the CSG on the mean of the height-for-age distribution. This paper investigates how this benefit varies across the quantiles of the height-for-age distribution.

Effects of Wildlife Resources on Community Welfare: Income, Poverty and Inequality

This paper demonstrates the importance of wildlife in the portfolio of environmental income in the livelihoods of poor rural communities living adjacent to a national park. The results show that wealthier households consumed more wildlife products in total than relatively poor households. However, poorer households derive greater benefit from the consumption of wildlife resources than wealthier households. Excluding wildlife compromised the relative contribution of environmental resources while at the same time increasing the relative contribution of farm and wage income.

The Economic Approach to Fertility: A Causal Mediation Analysis

This study develops an economic fertility model which explicitly incorporates both the costs of childrearing and contraception behaviour. In this setting, a couple capacity to procreate depends on their fecundity, as well as their contraception and sexual behaviours; and the ideal number of children is chosen by maximizing the utility of children, subject to a budget constraint reflecting the couple's income, and their specific explicit and implicit costs of rearing children.

Finding the benefits: Estimating the impact of the South African child support grant

The paper estimates the impact of the South African Child Support Grant (CSG) on child health, nutrition and education. Data from the 2008 South African National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) are used. Two non-experimental treatment evaluation techniques, both relying on propensity scores, are applied to six different outcome variables. Using propensity score matching with a binary outcome variable, no convincing evidence of improvements on any of the outcome variables is found. A second technique is therefore also applied, using a generalised form of the propensity scores.

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