Welfare Effects of a Non-contributory Old Age Pension: Experimental Evidence for Ekiti State, Nigeria

Many countries in the developing world have implemented non-contributory old-age pensions. Evidence of the impact of such policies on the elderly in Sub-Saharan Africa is scarce, however. In this paper, we provide the first evidence from a randomized evaluation of an unconditional, non-contributory pension scheme targeted at the elderly in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Our findings show that treated beneficiaries self-reported better quality of life, more stable mental health, and better general health. We also provide evidence of spillover effects on labor outcomes and on household expenditure patterns as well as support for demandside interventions aimed at improving the welfare of elderly poor citizens and other household members.