The (Very) Long-Run Impacts of Cash Grants during a Crisis
The economic consequences of COVID-19 lockdowns were significant for poor households in the Global South. In this crisis period, we investigate the very long-run impacts of a randomized cash grant in Uganda on three pre-specified outcomes, including a heterogeneity analysis by gender. In 2008, the program supported young adults through a one-time grant of 380 USD, labelled to invest in vocational training and tools to start a business. The program revealed considerable effects after four years, which vanished after nine years. We now find, 12 years after the intervention, during the COVID-19 pandemic, positive effects on income for the full sample, which are entirely driven by men. Treated men are also significantly more likely to be engaged in an income generating activity, though this does not translate into higher food security. We find no effects for women. Our findings of re-surfacing positive effects are important for the growing literature on long-run impacts of programming as we show that the timing of a follow-up matters. The presence of economic shocks should especially be taken into account when planning long-run follow-ups.