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Is Picking Kiwi Fruit the Answer?

What’s a more effective development intervention when it comes to raising income: Microfinance? Deworming? Conditional cash transfer programs? None of them work as well as New Zealand’s new seasonal worker program, which John Gibson and David McKenzie evaluate in a new paper. The effects are substantial. “In addition to estimating per-capita income gains of 30-40%, we find that participating in the RSE leads to greater subjective well-being, more durable asset purchases, housing improvements, and in Tonga, a large increase in secondary schooling,” McKenzie writes. “Moreover, as a recent evaluation by New Zealand’s labor department found, these gains came with minimal displacement of native workers, and overstay rates of less than 1%.” (HT: Chris Blattman) [%comments]