Summer Readings on Remittances and Social Security

In the first semester of 2022, a lot of research on social protection was carried out. Having looked at about 500 works on a topic since January, let me share a quick compilation of 40 exciting pieces on 10 topics you might want to take on vacation with you.

1. Health and nutrition

Meta-analysis by Manley et al. I learned that cash transfers reduce both stunting and wasting in children, but only by 1.3 percent. Morais et al. show that, compared to municipalities with low remittance coverage, Brazilian areas with high remittance coverage a 4.4–13.1 percent reduction in AIDS incidence. globally, systematic review of the impact of cash transfers and other programs on HIV Stoner et al., concludes that “Remittances [and] programs that encourage school attendance by adolescent girls and young women show the greatest promise.” Review by Ahmed et al.. the documents the positive impact of cash on the reduction of “neglected tropical diseases” (leprosy, schistosomiasis, soil-borne helminthiasis). Rolen and Rodriguez summarize the impact of remittances on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) results. And Gypsy-Rem and Karbovnik show that in Poland a one-time money transferWith depending on prenatal visits reduction in fetal mortality and improvement in birth weight.

2. Education

BUT meta-analysis of conditional cash transfers for education Garcia and Saavedra shows that there is a clear impact on schooling, little impact on learning, and relatively high implementation costs. Evans and others to have on hand Excel database containing over 100 studies on the subject.

3. Economic return

Aizer et al. emphasize the need to consider benefits over time: “Once positive long-term benefits for children are considered, many social protection programs are cost effective…. Limiting the time horizon for cost-benefit calculations…often does not take this into account.” In Rwanda, Taylor et al. estimate economic multipliers of remittances in the context of Congolese refugees and find that “an additional refugee receiving cash increases annual real income in the local economy by $205-253, significantly more than the $120-126 … each refugee receives.”

4. Brain and stress

A study of US remittances by Troller-Renfree et al. found that children with mothers receiving large cash benefits showed better brain development (effect sizes = 0.17 to 0.26) compared with infants whose mothers received less money. Yaroshevich and others.. show it cash transfers can increase stress among beneficiaries. This is because transfers operate in an ecosystem of hopes, dynamic needs, pressures and expectations that intensify and exert more psychological pressure when windfall cash materializes. What happens when you provide a lump sum of cash, psychosocial support, or both money and support? In Niger, Bossuroy et al. find positive effects in these three treatment groups, but interventions with the psychosocial component was the most cost-effective.

5. Crises

A cocktail of three accompanying crises prompts governments around the world to adopt 5,000 social safety nets: there are 3,856 social safety nets. in response to COVID-19 in 223 countries; another 730 programs created by 41 countries for displaced people because of the war in Ukraine; and 221 more countermeasures rising prices for food, fuel, fertilizers and other goods in 84 countries (updated version coming in a few days).

What, besides quantitative trends, do we learn from the assessments and implementation of these responses? lay out a row lessons and reflections on remittances during the pandemic.

Three studies on Cameroon (Levin and others), Greece (Tramuntanis and Levin) and Colombia (Ham et al) shed light on various barriers to integrating humanitarian assistance and social protection for displaced people. Development initiatives estimate that 21 percent of humanitarian aid is currently provided in cash, but only 0.6% of all aid goes through national governments. Etc “Parallel” systems are evident in Ukraine as well, like Stoddard et al. document.

Politics and trust

“State capacity alone is not enough. It is vital that national and local political dynamics determine how this public capacity is used to deliver the program.” This is the key takeaway from Laver’s edited book on social benefits distribution policy in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya, Bangladesh and Nepal. What happens when a conflict occurs in the middle of program implementation? In South Sudan, Budjan et al. research the fates of the participants who received and did not receive a grant diverged: the latter showed a decrease in consumption and trust, which is indicative of the psychological consequences of canceling the program.

7. Child labor

A review by the ILO and UNICEF found that about 60 percent of the 62 research reports examined”a clear decrease in the involvement of children in productive activities(i.e. economic activities and/or household chores). Marsillo et al. show that in Colombia, cash transfers help keep children in school, but “Women are the ones who make up for lost work at home when older children stay longer in school.” As well as Svyatsky shows that in Peru participation in conditional cash transfers reduced child labor, which in turn reduced coca production by 34 percent.

8. Gender

BUT a review of 70 systematic reviews on social protection and gender Perera and others.. found that having explicit gender goals leads to higher outcomes than setting broad goals, but there may be some adverse and unintended consequences. A short review by Peterman and Roy offers practical advice on how to adapt remittances to prevent and mitigate gender-based intimate partner violence. And in the Indian state of Bihar, Gelb et al. show that illiterate female beneficiaries living in a household without a smartphone less likely to report using digital payments 4 percent.

9. Access to benefits

Immerwall et al. show that among the eight high-income countries, there is only a limited gap between social protection provisions provided by Standard and non-standard working (i.e., self-employed, part-time workers, and working with unstable wages). Schutter’s report on in “Non-implementation” of social protection programs illustrates that awareness of the program, statement information, cumbersome processes and stigmatization can hinder access to programs for relevant populations. And the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that forcibly displaced people often have access to social protection “on paper” but not in practice.

10. Design choice

Hammad navigates key issues related to the transfer, such as defining transmitted values, time, duration, frequency and digital vs. prepaid payments. In Niger, Bossuroy et al. compare economic efficiency of alternative models of “gradation” on economic and psychosocial outcomes, while Premand and Barry found that training for parents more efficient than cash on early childhood development. Dwyer and others.contrast 87 programs in high against. low and middle income countries and found that remittances in advanced economies have steeper cliffs. There is a penny and others new edited volume on targeting in social assistance emphasizing the role of delivery systems in shaping targeted outcomes. Della Guardia and others illuminate hostility, resentment and divisions within communities in Chad. And in Kenya, Haushofer et al. claim that the achievement the most “affected”—as opposed to the most “deprived”—may be useful to society.