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Why Food Vouchers Are a Policy Worth Considering in Developing Countries

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Motivated, in part, by a desire to curb growing budget deficits, many countries are replacing broad subsidies with policies aimed more directly at the needy. But what form should the targeted aid take? A new paper* by researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), a think-tank, suggests that might have been a mistake. The authors analysed the results of an experiment conducted by the World Food Programme in Ecuador in 2011, which compared handouts of food, cash and vouchers—all conditional on attending nutrition classes..