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Rural Public Works and Poverty Alleviation--the case of the employment guarantee scheme in Maharashtra

Title:Rural Public Works and Poverty Alleviation--the case of the employment guarantee scheme in Maharashtra
Authors:Gaiha Raghav and Imai Katsushi
Publication:International Review of Applied Economics / Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group
Enumeration:Vol. 16, No. 2, pp.131 - 151/April 01, 2002
Abstract:This paper focuses on the poverty alleviating potential of the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) in (the Indian state of) Maharashtra. A point of departure is the shift of emphasis from the static to the dynamic effects of the EGS targeting, measured in terms of individuals moving into and out of poverty, over the period 1979-84. An assessment is made of whether the EGS prevents the vulnerable from falling into poverty or enables the poor to move out of poverty, by distinguishing between the protective and promotional roles of the scheme. Simulations involving a wide range of poverty thresholds and different assumptions about the distribution of EGS earnings reveal that the poverty alleviating potential is limited in most cases. If, however, a larger EGS outlay is combined with more accurate targeting, the potential is substantially greater. Larger outlays are feasible if other rural public works are merged under the EGS. If this is combined with a reallocation in favour of backward areas, the targeting may improve substantially.

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