Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #802

The Long Term Impacts of Grants on Poverty: 9-Year Evidence from Uganda’s Youth Opportunities Program

by Christopher Blattman, Nathan Fiala and Sebastian Martinez

RWI, 04/2019, 68 S./p., 10 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-930-8 DOI: 10.4419/86788930



In 2008, Uganda granted hundreds of small groups $400/person to help members start individual skilled
trades. Four years on, an experimental evaluation found grants raised earnings by 38% (Blattman, Fiala,
Martinez 2014). We return after 9 years to find these start-up grants raised earnings and consumption
temporarily only. Grantees’ investment leveled off; controls eventually increased their incomes through
business and casual labor; and so both groups converged in employment, earnings, and consumption.
Grants had lasting impacts on assets, skilled work, and possibly child health, but had little effect on
mortality, fertility, health or education.

JEL-Classification: J24, O12, D13, C93

Keywords: Employment; poverty; entrepreneurship; cash transfers; occupational choice; Uganda; field experiment; labor market programs; health; education