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The Schooling Decision: Family Preferences, Intergenerational Conflict, and Moral Hazard in the Brazilian Favelas

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  • Leonardo Bursztyn
  • Lucas C. Coffman

Abstract

This paper experimentally analyzes the schooling decisions of poor households in urban Brazil. We elicit parents’ choices between monthly government transfers conditional on their adolescent child attending school and guaranteed, unconditional transfers of varying sizes. In the baseline treatment, an overwhelming majority of parents prefer conditional transfers to larger unconditional transfers. However, few parents prefer conditional payments if they are offered text message notifications whenever their child misses school. These findings suggest important intergenerational conflicts in these schooling decisions, a lack of parental control and observability of school attendance, and an additional rationale for conditional cash transfer programs—the monitoring they provide.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/666746
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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/666746
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 120 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 359 - 397

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/666746

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

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Cited by:
  1. Hoyt Bleakley & Joseph P. Ferrie, 2013. "Shocking Behavior : Random Wealth in Antebellum Georgia and Human Capital Across Generations," NBER Working Papers 19348, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Martina Kirchberger, 2014. "Preferences over Leisure and Consumption of Siblings and Intra-Household Allocation," Economics Series Working Papers 713, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Akresh, Richard & de Walque, Damien & Kazianga, Harounan, 2013. "Cash transfers and child schooling : evidence from a randomized evaluation of the role of conditionality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6340, The World Bank.
  4. Díaz Serrano, Lluís & Pérez, Jessica Helen, 2013. "Impact of Duration of Primary Education on School Enrollment, Graduation and Drop-outs: A Cross- Country Analysis," Working Papers 2072/220757, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  5. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2014. "Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission," Working Papers 2014-013, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  6. Baird, Sarah & Mcintosh, Craig & Ozler, Berk, 2010. "Cash or condition ? evidence from a cash transfer experiment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5259, The World Bank.
  7. Estevan, Fernanda, 2013. "The impact of conditional cash transfers on public education expenditures: A political economy approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 268-284.
  8. Eric V. Edmonds & Maheshwor Shrestha, 2013. "You Get What You Pay For: Schooling Incentives and Child Labor," NBER Working Papers 19279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Elena Del Rey & Fernanda Estevan, 2011. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Education Quality in the Presence of Credit Constraints," Working Papers 1108E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  10. Pamela Giustinelli, 2011. "Group Decision Making with Uncertain Outcomes: Unpacking Child-Parent Choices of High School Tracks," Working Papers 2011-030, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  11. Alderman, Harold & Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2013. "How can safety nets contribute to economic growth ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6437, The World Bank.

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