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Shutdown: Obama cancels Asia trip

Shutdown:  Obama cancels Asia trip | Electronics | Scoop.it
U.S. foreign policy takes the latest hit as the government shutdown enters its fourth day.
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World's largest Legoland Water Park opens

World's largest Legoland Water Park opens | Electronics | Scoop.it
The inflatable-armbands community is rejoicing -- Asia's first Legoland Water Park opened in Malaysia this week.
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10 scariest places in Asia

10 scariest places in Asia | Electronics | Scoop.it
Gallery and Q&A with Robert Joe, host of National Geographic's "I Wouldn't Go In There," introduces Asia's scariest spots.
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Want to Fight Poverty? Just Give the Poor Cash

Want to Fight Poverty? Just Give the Poor Cash | Electronics | Scoop.it
A study suggests that the best way to fight global poverty is simply to give people cash and let them spend it however they want

Results summary
 Transfers allow poor households to build assets. Recipients increased asset holdings
by PPP USD 279, representing a 58% increase over the control group mean, and 39% of the
average amount transferred. These increases occurred primarily through home improvements
and increased livestock holdings: households receiving transfers are 23 percentage points more
likely to have an iron roof as opposed to a grass-thatch roof, and livestock holdings increase
by 51% (PPP USD 85).
 Transfers increase consumption. Recipients spend cash transfers on a very broad variety
of goods and services, including food, healthcare, education, and social or family events such as
weddings and funerals. We observe particularly strong increases in spending on food, medical,
and social expenses.
 Transfers reduce hunger. With an increase in food consumption by 20%, we observe
significant reductions in hunger and food insecurity, e.g. a 30% reduction in the likelihood of
the respondent having gone to bed hungry in the preceding week, and a 42% reduction in the
number of days children go without food.
 Transfers do not increase spending on alcohol and tobacco. We find no evidence of
increased expenditure on temptation goods such as alcohol, tobacco and gambling.
 Transfers increase investment in and revenue from livestock and small businesses.
Revenue from animal husbandry increases by 48% (PPP USD 2 per month), and total revenue
from self-employment increases by PPP USD 11 per month (38%) as a result of the transfers.
Existing evidence on the effect of cash transfers on income comes from programs that were
specifically targeted at existing or new non-agricultural businesses, often with the explicit
or implicit expectation that these transfers should be invested in the enterprise (De Mel,
McKenzie, and Woodruff 2008; Fafchamps et al. 2011; Blattman, Fiala, and Martinez 2013);
the results from this study suggest that these results may extend to a broader population.
2
 Transfers increase psychological well-being of recipients and their families. Unconditional
cash transfers lead to a 0.18 SD increase in happiness, a 0.15 SD increase in life
satisfaction, and a 0.14 SD reduction in stress, all measured by psychological questionnaires.
Large transfers lead to a reduction in levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
 Transfers affect many, but not all, indicators of poverty. We find little to no impact
on health or education over the time horizon considered in the data. We find suggestive
evidence that cash transfers reduce domestic violence and increase female empowerment in
both recipient households and other households in the same village.
 Specific design features of cash transfer programs differentially affect impacts and
imply policy trade-offs. Monthly transfers have stronger effects on food security than
lump-sum transfers, while lump-sum transfers show larger effects than monthly transfers on
particular types of assets such as metal roofs. Large transfers produce larger treatment effects
than small transfers on most outcomes, but with decreasing marginal returns. We do not
observe significant differences in outcomes when making transfers to the female vs. the male
in the household. Together, these results suggest that when policy-makers consider different
design choices for cash transfers, they may come to different conclusions depending on how
they weight different potential outcomes relative to one another.


Via Markus Dietrich
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Markus Dietrich's curator insight, October 29, 2013 9:54 PM

Male empowerment in fighting poverty: We do not
observe significant differences in outcomes when making transfers to the female vs. the male
in the household.