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The impact of the Bolsa Escola/Familia conditional cash transfer program on enrollment, dropout rates and grade promotion in Brazil

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  • Glewwe, Paul
  • Kassouf, Ana Lucia

Abstract

We examine the impact of Brazil's Bolsa Escola/Familia program on Brazilian children's education outcomes. Bolsa provides cash payments to poor households if their children (ages 6 to 15) are enrolled in school. Using school census data to compare changes in enrollment, dropping out and grade promotion across schools that adopted Bolsa at different times, we estimate that the program has: increased enrollment by about 5.5% (6.5%) in grades 1–4 (grades 5–8); lowered dropout rates by 0.5 (0.4) percentage points in grades 1–4 (grades 5–8); and raised grade promotion rates by 0.9 (0.3) percentage points in grades 1–4 (grades 5–8). About one third of Brazil's children participate in Bolsa, so assuming no spillover effects onto non-participants implies that Bolsa's impacts are three times higher than these estimates. However, simple calculations using enrollment impacts suggest that Bolsa's benefits in terms of increased wages may not exceed its costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 97 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 505-517

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:97:y:2012:i:2:p:505-517

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

Related research

Keywords: Education; Conditional cash transfer programs; Brazil;

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  1. Emmanuel Skoufias & Susan Wendy Parker, 2001. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Their Impact on Child Work and Schooling: Evidence from the PROGRESA Program in Mexico," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  2. Dubois, Pierre & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2003. "Effects on school enrollment and performance of a conditional transfers program in Mexico," CUDARE Working Paper Series 981, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  3. Mikael Lindahl & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Education for Growth: Why and for Whom?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1101-1136, December.
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  7. Andrea Rodrigues Ferro & Ana Lucia Kassouf & Deborah Levison, 2011. "The Impact Ofconditional Cash Transfer Programs On Household Work Decisions In Brazil," Anais do XXXVII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 37th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 208, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  8. Parker, Susan W. & Rubalcava, Luis & Teruel, Graciela, 2008. "Evaluating Conditional Schooling and Health Programs," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  9. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, October.
  10. Eliana Cardoso & Andre Portela Souza, 2004. "The Impact of Cash Transfers on Child Labor and School Attendance in Brazil," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0407, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  11. Schady, Norbert & Araujo, Maria Caridad, 2006. "Cash transfers, conditions, school enrollment, and child work : evidence from a randomized experiment in Ecuador," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3930, The World Bank.
  12. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.
  13. Khandker, Shahidur & Pitt, Mark & Fuwa, Nobuhiko, 2003. "Subsidy to Promote Girls' Secondary Education: The Female Stipend Program in Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 23688, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Norbert Schady & Maria Caridad Araujo, 2008. "Cash Transfers, Conditions, and School enrollment in Ecuador," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  15. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  16. FranÁois Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Phillippe G. Leite, 2003. "Conditional Cash Transfers, Schooling, and Child Labor: Micro-Simulating Brazil's Bolsa Escola Program," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 229-254, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cruz, Marcio & Ziegelhofer, Zacharias, 2014. "Beyond the income effect : impacts of conditional cash transfer programs on private investments in human capital," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6867, The World Bank.
  2. Chitolina, Lia & Foguel, Miguel Nathan & Menezes-Filho, Naercio, 2013. "The impact of the expansion of the Bolsa Familia Program on the time allocation of youths and their parents," Insper Working Papers wpe_326, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  3. Kirdar, Murat G. & Dayioglu, Meltem & Koc, Ismet, 2012. "Does longer compulsory education equalize educational attainment by gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background?," MPRA Paper 39995, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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