Journal Article

Appraising Workfare

Martin Ravallion

in The World Bank Research Observer

Published on behalf of World Bank

Volume 14, issue 1, pages 31-48
Published in print February 1999 | ISSN: 0257-3032
Published online February 1999 | e-ISSN: 1564-6971 | DOI:
Appraising Workfare

Show Summary Details


Workfare programs aim to reduce poverty by providing low-wage work to those who need it. They are often turned to in a crisis. This article offers some simple analytical tools that can be used to rapidly appraise the cost-effectiveness of an existing workfare operation as a basis for deciding whether the program should be expanded. For pedagogic purposes, two stylized versions of a range of programs found in practice are analyzed: one for a middle-income country, the other for a low-income country. The cost of a given gain to the poor is about the same for both programs, although the components of that cost are very different, with implications for the timing of benefits. The author points to program design changes that could enhance the impact on poverty.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Development Planning and Policy

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