Structural estimation of spatial spillover effects of cash transfers

Programme of work

Enhancing evidence transferability

Principal investigator(s)

Douglas Gollin

Host institution

University of Oxford

Other institutions

Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies, University of Nairobi


February 2020 to July 2021 (TBC)

Project type

Secondary data analysis


Kenya, Uganda, Lesotho

Research question

This evaluation will examine the causal spillover effects experienced by non-recipients of cash transfer programmes in rural, developing country contexts. It will do this by developing and applying middle-range theory to address a method gap for the estimation of spillover effects in the presence of partial economic integration of local markets.

Research design

The study will model and estimate the extent of economic integration of local markets and how this affects variation in spillover effects over space and across different groups of non-recipients. It will use structural model-ling to estimate the general equilibrium effects within a network.

Data source

The data falls into four categories:

  1. Publicly available, fully anonymised secondary data from a recently completed randomised controlled trial of GiveDirectly’s unconditional cash transfer programme in Western Kenya;
  2. Secondary quantitative data from the Aspirations Project;
  3. Primary qualitative data to be collected in Kenya; and
  4. Secondary data from impact evaluations in other settings and coun-tries.

Policy relevance

The study will enable decision-makers to make better-informed policy choices based on an understanding of the causal impact of cash transfer programmes on people other than direct recipients.