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Submitted by Ugo on

Thanks Dave for your comment, very good point. Cash transfers are indeed fungible and can have a broad range of objectives. Your question, therefore, somewhat speaks to the trade-off between providing choice and promoting a desired outcome. Given the small transfer size examined in the studies (about 12% of household monthly consumption), there might be a tension between, on one hand, the flexibility in spending small amounts of money across multiple dimensions and, on the other hand, the expectation to achieve substantial impacts across the board because of the same transfer. (This tension may be relaxed when the transfer size is larger, such as in the case of cash grants a la Liberia or Uganda). Hence the importance of being very clear about program objectives. But yes, the studies are generally geared toward food security goals and, with few exceptions (e.g. Cambodia looking at education outcomes), there is little comparative evidence on dimensions such as health and nutrition.