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The Effect of Conditional Transfers on School Performance and Child Labor: Evidence from an Ex-Post Impact Evaluation in Costa Rica

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  • Suzanne Duryea
  • Andrew Morrison

Abstract

Conditional transfer programs are becoming a common approach to influence household decisions. The evidence to date is that these programs are good at promoting certain outcomes such as school attendance, but that other outcomes such as reducing child labor are more difficult to achieve. This study examines the impact of Superémonos, a conditional transfer program in Costa Rica, which provides poor families with a subsidy for the purchase of food conditional upon children regularly attending school. Using three different empirical techniques—simple comparison of mean outcomes, regression analysis and propensity score matching—we examine the program’s impact on school attendance, performance in school and child labor. We find strong evidence that the program achieves its goal of improving school attendance and much weaker evidence regarding school performance. The program does not reduce the likelihood that youth will work. These findings are discussed in the context of the results from impact evaluations of other conditional transfer programs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4359.

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Date of creation: Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4359

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  1. World Bank, 2000. "Nicaragua : Ex-Post Impact Evaluation of the Emergency Social Investment Fund," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14956, The World Bank.
  2. Donald M. Pianto & Sergei Soares, 2004. "Use Of Survey Design For The Evaluation Of Social Programs: The Pnad And Peti," Anais do XXXII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 32th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 133, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Bruno Martorano & Chris De Neubourg & Marco Sanfilippo & UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2012. "The Impact of Social Protection on Children: A review of the literature," Innocenti Working Papers inwopa666, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
  3. Elke Schaffland, 2011. "Conditional Cash Transfers in Brazil: Treatment Evaluation of the “Bolsa Família” Program on Education," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 84, Courant Research Centre PEG, revised 11 Apr 2012.
  4. Ponce, Juan & Bedi, Arjun S., 2008. "The Impact of a Cash Transfer Program on Cognitive Achievement: The Bono de Desarrollo Humano of Ecuador," IZA Discussion Papers 3658, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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].
  6. César P. Bouillon & Luis Tejerina, 2006. "Do We Know What Works?: A Systematic Review of Impact Evaluations of Social Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications 80443, Inter-American Development Bank.
  7. Paola Pena, 2014. "The Politics of the diffusion of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 20114, BWPI, The University of Manchester.

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