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Does Money Matter? The Effects of Cash Transfers on Child Development in Rural Ecuador

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  • Christina Paxson
  • Norbert Schady

Abstract

A large body of research indicates that child development is sensitive to early-life environments, so that poor children are at higher risk for poor cognitive and behavioral outcomes. These developmental outcomes are important determinants of success in adulthood. Yet, remarkably little is known about whether poverty-alleviation programs improve children's developmental outcomes. We examine how a government-run cash transfer program for poor mothers in rural Ecuador influenced the development of young children. Random assignment at the parish level is used to identify program effects. Our data include a set of measures of cognitive ability that are not typically included in experimental or quasi-experimental studies of the impact of cash transfers on child well-being, as well as a set of physical health measures that may be related to developmental outcomes. The cash transfer program had positive, although modest, effects on the physical, cognitive, and socioemotional development of the poorest children in our sample. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 59 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 187-229

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:59:y:2010:i:1:p:187-229

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. CCTs usually increase schooling but few studies have found gains in test scores – what’s behind this disconnect?
    by Jed Friedman in Development Impact on 2012-04-11 13:28:51
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Cited by:
  1. Edmonds, Eric V. & Schady, Norbert, 2008. "Poverty alleviation and child labor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4702, The World Bank.
  2. Felfe, Christina & Deuchert. Eva, 2011. "The tempest: Using a natural disaster to evaluate the link between wealth and child development," Economics Working Paper Series 1146, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  3. Bryan, Gharad & Chowdhury, Shyamal & Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq, 2012. "Seasonal Migration and Risk Aversion," CEPR Discussion Papers 8739, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Norbert Schady, 2012. "Cash Transfers and Anemia Among Women of Reproductive Age," IDB Publications 75718, Inter-American Development Bank.
  5. Rebecca Ray & Sara Kozameh, 2012. "Ecuador’s Economy Since 2007," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2012-14, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  6. Bernal, Raquel & Fernández, Camila, 2013. "Subsidized childcare and child development in Colombia: Effects of Hogares Comunitarios de Bienestar as a function of timing and length of exposure," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 241-249.
  7. Hidrobo, Melissa & Fernald, Lia, 2013. "Cash transfers and domestic violence," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 304-319.

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