Spillover Impacts on Education from Employment Guarantees

August 2018
Anjali Adukia

Programs that guarantee some basic level of low-skill employment are a popular anti-poverty strategy in developing countries, with India's employment-guarantee program (MGNREGA) annually employing adults in 23% of Indian households. An important concern is these employment programs may discourage children's education and, thus, more-sustained long-run income growth. Using large-scale administrative data and household survey data, I estimate precise spillover impacts on education that reject substantive declines in children's education from the rollout of MGNREGA. These negative spillovers are inexpensive to counteract, and small compared to immediate effects of MGNREGA on rural employment and poverty alleviation.