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Finding the Benefits: Estimating the Impact of the South African Child Support Grant

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  • Marisa Coetzee

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

Abstract

The paper estimates the impact of the South African Child Support Grant (CSG) on child health, nutrition and education. Data from the 2008 South African National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) are used. Two non-experimental treatment evaluation techniques, both relying on propensity scores, are applied to six different outcome variables. Using propensity score matching with a binary outcome variable, no convincing evidence of improvements on any of the outcome variables is found. A second technique is therefore also applied, using a generalised form of the propensity scores. This follows the approach of Hirano and Imbens (2004) and Agüero et al. (2009). The generalised approach estimates a positive treatment effect for children’s height-for-age and progress through the school system. Although these estimates do provide some evidence of the positive effect of the Child Support Grant on the lives of children, the estimates are small and do not provide clear evidence that the transfers received by caregivers are spent mainly on improving the well-being of beneficiary children. Some potential and plausible explanations for this result are discussed in the paper. Nevertheless, the findings seem to suggest that some of the cash transferred through the Child Support Grant appears to be spent on improving the well-being of children.

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File URL: http://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2011/wp162011/wp-16-2011.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Paper provided by Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 16/2011.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers144

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Keywords: Conditional cash transfers; child health and nutrition; continuous treatment estimator; South Africa;

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  1. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
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  10. Anne Case & Victoria Hosegood & Frances Lund, 2004. "The Reach and Impact of Child Support Grants: Evidence from KwaZulu-Natal," Working Papers 241, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  11. Cally Ardington & Anne Case & Victoria Hosegood, 2007. "Labor Supply Responses To Large Social Transfers: Longitudinal Evidence From South Africa," Working Papers 1003, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
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  16. Eric V. Edmonds, 2004. "Does Illiquidity Alter Child Labor and Schooling Decisions? Evidence from Household Responses to Anticipated Cash Transfers in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 10265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Olivier Basdevant & Dalmacio Benicio & Yorbol Yakhshilikov, 2012. "Inequalities and Growth in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Region," IMF Working Papers 12/290, International Monetary Fund.

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