Productivist social assistance and 21st-century development models

Barrientos, Armando / Daniele Malerba
External Publications (2018)

London: ESRC GPID Research Network (Working Paper 16)


The  paper  reconsiders  the  growing  literature  on  income  transfers  and  labour  market outcomes  in  low and  middle income  countries.  Following  the  canonical  literature  in  high income countries, to date most studies on low and middle income countries have focused on testing for potentially adverse labour supply incentive effects from transfers. In the process they   have   neglected   the   potential   impacts   of   transfers   on   structural   transformation. The hypothesis at the core of this paper is that productivist social assistance, understood as income transfers capable of improving productive capacity among disadvantage groups, is a key  policy  helping  to  manage  adverse  trade offs  between  structural  transformation  and inclusive growth. The paper reconsiders the empirical literature in this light and sketches a research agenda reassessing the role of social assistance in 21st c. development models.

About the author


Further experts

Altenburg, Tilman

Economic Geography 

Asimeng, Emmanuel Theodore

Urban Planning, Sustainability 

Balasubramanian, Pooja

Social Economics 

Burchi, Francesco

Development Economy 

El-Haddad, Amirah


Loewe, Markus


Ndubuisi, Gideon


Owusu, Solomon


Sommer, Christoph


Strohmaier, Rita


Strupat, Christoph


Vrolijk, Kasper


Zintl, Tina

Political Scientist