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The Effect of Conditional Cash Transfers on Educational Opportunities - Experimental Evidence from Latin America

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  • Andrés Ham

    (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - FCE - UNLP y CONICET)

Abstract

Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) provide income to the poor in an effort to improve current welfare and promote investment in human and social capital to prevent future deprivation. So far, the impact evaluation literature has focused on estimating current effects on outcomes such as school attendance, consumption and labor supply. However, these studies overlook potential redistributive effects, mainly via the equalization of opportunities. The ensuing analysis draws from recent contributions in the literature on opportunities and incorporates these with impact evaluation methods. The main findings indicate a remarkable redistributive effect of CCTs and a positive initial impact on opportunities. However, while mean outcomes improve markedly, the evidence suggests that the distribution of opportunities readjusts to the positive gains, perhaps indicating deeply rooted inequities. These results are expected to encourage discussion on program impact beyond those evaluated and addressing the programs’ long-term consequences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata in its series CEDLAS, Working Papers with number 0109.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0109

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Keywords: poverty; opportunities; education; children; impact evaluation; conditional cash transfers;

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  1. Mejia, Daniel & St-Pierre, Marc, 2008. "Unequal opportunities and human capital formation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 395-413, June.
  2. Francois Bourguignon & Francisco H.B. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2005. "Inequality of Opportunity in Brazil," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 133, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Alzúa, María Laura & Cruces, Guillermo & Ripani, Laura, 2012. "Welfare Programs and Labor Supply in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from Latin America," IZA Discussion Papers 6959, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Behrman, Jere R & Sengupta, Piyali & Todd, Petra, 2005. "Progressing through PROGRESA: An Impact Assessment of a School Subsidy Experiment in Rural Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 237-75, October.
  5. Ricardo Paes de Barros & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jose R. Molinas Vega & Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi, 2009. "Measuring Inequality of Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2580, July.
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