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The Impact of a Cash Transfer Program on Cognitive Achievement: The Bono de Desarrollo Humano of Ecuador

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  • Ponce, Juan

    ()
    (Flacso)

  • Bedi, Arjun S.

    ()
    (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

Throughout Latin America, conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs play an important role in social policy. These programs aim to influence the accumulation of human capital, as well as reduce poverty. In terms of educational outcomes, a number of impact evaluation studies have shown that such programs have led to an increase in school enrollment, ensured regular school attendance and led to a reduction in child labor. Theoretically, such cash transfer programs may also be expected to exert a positive impact on students’ test scores, but related empirical evidence is scarce. Accordingly, this paper evaluates the impact of a cash transfer program, the Bono de Desarrollo Humano of Ecuador, on students’ cognitive achievements. The paper uses a regression discontinuity strategy to identify the impact of the program on second grade cognitive achievement. Regardless of the specification and the sample used, we find that there is no impact of the program on test scores, suggesting that attempts at building human capital, as measured by cognitive achievement, require additional and alternative interventions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3658.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics of Education Review, 2010, 29 (1), 116-125
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3658

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Keywords: regression discontinuity; test scores; cash transfers;

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References

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  1. Jinyong Hahn & Petra Todd & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 1999. "Evaluating the Effect of an Antidiscrimination Law Using a Regression-Discontinuity Design," NBER Working Papers 7131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bedi, A.S. & Marshall, J.H., 2000. "Primary school attendance in Honduras," ISS Working Papers - General Series, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague 19066, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  3. Alderman, Harold, et al, 1996. "The Returns to Endogenous Human Capital in Pakistan's Rural Wage Labour Market," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(1), pages 29-55, February.
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  6. Hessel Oosterbeek & Juan Ponce & Norbert Schady, 2008. "The Impact of Cash Transfers on School Enrollment: Evidence from Ecuador," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-037/3, Tinbergen Institute.
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  13. Attanasio, Orazio & Fitzsimons, Emla & Gomez, Ana & Lopez, Diana & Meghir, Costas & Mesnard, Alice, 2006. "Child Education and Work Choices in the Presence of a Conditional Cash Transfer Programme in Rural Colombia," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5792, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Caldes, Natalia & Coady, David & Maluccio, John A., 2006. "The cost of poverty alleviation transfer programs: A comparative analysis of three programs in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 818-837, May.
  15. 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.
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  19. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2002. "The Impact of Teacher Training on Student Achievement: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from School Reform Efforts in Chicago," NBER Working Papers 8916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nabernegg, Markus, 2012. "El impacto del BDH en el gasto de bienes no deseados: Un análisis de regresión discontinua
    [The impact of the Bono de Desarrollo Humano in the expenditure for undesirable goods: A regression disc
    ," MPRA Paper 41295, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Scarlato, Margherita, 2012. "Social Enterprise, Capabilities and Development: Lessons from Ecuador," MPRA Paper 37618, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. David POST, 2011. "Primary school student employment and academic achievement in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, International Labour Organization, vol. 150(3-4), pages 255-278, December.
  4. Del Rey, Elena & Estevan, Fernanda, 2013. "Conditional cash transfers and education quality in the presence of credit constraints," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 76-84.
  5. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, August.
  6. Miguel Nino-Zarazua, 2011. "Mexico’s Progresa-Oportunidades and the emergence of Social Assistance in Latin America," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series, BWPI, The University of Manchester 14211, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  7. DesJardins, Stephen L. & McCall, Brian P., 2014. "The impact of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program on college and post-college related choices of high ability, low-income minority students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 124-138.
  8. Barrientos, Armando & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2011. "Social transfers and chronic poverty: objectives, design, reach and impact," MPRA Paper 30465, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Martin Gonzalez-Rozada & Freddy Llerena Pinto, 2011. "The Effects of a Conditional Transfer Program on the Labor Market: The Human Development Bonus in Ecuador," Department of Economics Working Papers, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella 2011-04, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  10. Falch, Torberg & Fischer, Justina AV, 2011. "Welfare state generosity and student performance: Evidence from international student tests," MPRA Paper 35269, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Paola Pena, 2014. "The Politics of the diffusion of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series, BWPI, The University of Manchester 20114, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  12. 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.

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