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Child Education and Work Choices in the Presence of a Conditional Cash Transfer Programme in Rural Colombia

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  • Attanasio, Orazio
  • Fitzsimons, Emla
  • Gomez, Ana
  • Lopez, Diana
  • Meghir, Costas
  • Mesnard, Alice

Abstract

The paper studies the effects of Familias en Acción, a conditional cash transfer programme implemented in rural areas in Colombia in 2002, on school enrolment and child labour. Using a quasi-experimental approach, our methodology makes use of an interesting feature of the data, which allows us to identify anticipation effects. Our results show that the programme increased school participation of 14 to 17 year old children quite substantially, by between 5 and 7 percentage points, and had lower, but non-negligible effects on enrolment of younger children of between around 1.5 and 2.5 percentage points. In terms of work, the effects are generally largest for younger children whose participation in domestic work decreased by around 10 to 12 percentage points after the programme but whose participation in income-generating work remained largely unaffected by the programme. We also find evidence of school and work time not being fully substitutable, suggesting that some, but not all, of the increased time at school may be drawn from children’s leisure time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5792.

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Date of creation: Aug 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5792

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Keywords: child labour; conditional cash transfers; education;

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  1. Peter Jensen & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 1997. "Child labour or school attendance? Evidence from Zambia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 407-424.
  2. 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.
  3. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 1997. "Family size, schooling and child labor in Peru - An empirical analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 387-405.
  4. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 1999. "Does child labor displace schooling? - evidence on behavioral responses to an enrollment subsidy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2116, The World Bank.
  5. Laura B. Rawlings, 2005. "Evaluating the Impact of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 29-55.
  6. Ray, Ranjan, 2000. "Child Labor, Child Schooling, and Their Interaction with Adult Labor: Empirical Evidence for Peru and Pakistan," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 347-67, May.
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