The New England Branch of AARES invites you to attend a seminar presented by Dr Masood Azeem from the UNE Business School, on Wednesday 14th June

Do Social Protection Transfers Reduce Poverty and Vulnerability to Poverty in Pakistan? Household Level Evidence from Punjab

When: 1.00 – 2.00pm, 14 June 2017

Where: Lecture Theatre 2, EBL Building (W40)

While many studies have investigated in different countries the impact of social protection (SP) on ex-post poverty, the impact on ex-ante vulnerability to poverty (VtP) has received far less attention. This paper contributes to the literature by investigating both types of impacts in Pakistan, focusing on household-specific shocks (idiosyncratic vulnerability) and community-specific shocks (covariate vulnerability). We use a hierarchical modelling approach to analyse data from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS-2011) on about 90,000 households in the Punjab province. Matching methods and simultaneous endogenous switching regression are used to control for potential selection bias and estimate average treatment effects. The results show that SP has significantly reduced household poverty and VtP. However, there are considerable differences in both types of impact when comparing households in different wealth-index quantiles (a measure of asset ownership). We find that SP as a whole benefits households in the lowest quintiles the most in terms of VtP reduction, but not as much in terms of poverty reduction. Our results provide reliable evidence that SP programmes do have an impact on both poverty and vulnerability reduction, in support of further SP funding.

Masood Azeem has recently been appointed as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Agribusiness in the UNE Business School. He is an economist by training and a graduate of the University of Western Australia (UWA) where he completed his PhD in Economics. He holds a Bachelor of Agriculture and a Master in Development Economics with first class honours from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), Pakistan. He joined UAF’s Institute of Agricultural and Resource Economics as a Lecturer in the year 2006. Mr. Masood served at UAF for 5 years before proceeding for PhD studies at the UWA. His research is empirical in nature with a strong policy focus. He has published his work in refereed journals including Food Policy, Journal of Asian Economics, and Social Indicators Research.