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The Impact of Cash Transfers on Child Labor and School Attendance in Brazil

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  • Eliana Cardoso

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Sao Paulo)

  • Andre Portela Souza

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University, and Department of Economics, University of Sao Paulo,)

Abstract

The paper estimates the impact on school attendance and child labor of conditional cash payments to poor families in Brazil. It describes Brazil's transfer programs and presents statistics on school attendance and child labor. In the second half of the 1990s, many municipalities had adopted the "Bolsa Escola" (a cash transfer conditional on school attendance) and/or the federal minimum income program (in place during 1999 and 2000 and replaced by the "Bolsa Escola Federal" in 2001). Although conditional cash transfer programs in Brazil have been in place since 1996, studies on their ex-post impact are very few. Micro household level data from the 2000 Census allows the use of propensity score methods to estimate the impact of income transfers on child labor and school attendance. The paper finds that income transfer programs had no significant effect on child labor but a positive and significant impact on school attendance. These preliminary results suggest that these programs have not been effective in fighting child labor in Brazil. They increase the chance of a poor child going to school but do not reduce her labor activity perhaps because she prefers to combine school and labor, considering that the transfers are too small to provide an incentive to forgo the labor income.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu04-w07.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0407.

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Date of creation: Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0407

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Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html

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Keywords: Child labor; school attendance; income transfer programs; Brazil;

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References

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  1. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
  2. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity score matching methods for non-experimental causal studies," Discussion Papers 0102-14, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  3. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
  4. Rajeev Dehejia & Roberta Gatti, 2002. "Child Labor: The Role of Income Variability and Access to Credit Across Countries," NBER Working Papers 9018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. World Bank, 2001. "Brazil : Eradicating Child Labor in Brazil," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15465, The World Bank.
  6. 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].
  7. Emerson, Patrick M & Souza, Andre Portela, 2003. "Is There a Child Labor Trap? Intergenerational Persistence of Child Labor in Brazil," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 375-98, January.
  8. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
  9. Buddelmeyer, Hielke & Skoufias, Emmanuel, 2003. "An Evaluation of the Performance of Regression Discontinuity Design on PROGRESA," IZA Discussion Papers 827, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Emmanuel Skoufias & Susan Wendy Parker, 2001. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Their Impact on Child Work and Schooling: Evidence from the PROGRESA Program in Mexico," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  11. George Psacharopoulos, 1997. "Child labor versus educational attainment Some evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 377-386.
  12. Goldbaum, Sergio & Garcia, Fernando & Lucinda, Cláudio Ribeiro de, 2000. "Pobreza, trabalho infantil e renda familiar per capita no Brasil," Textos para discussão 93, Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  13. Patrick M. Emerson & Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "Bargaining over Sons and Daughters: Child Labor, School Attendance and Intra-Household Gender Bias in Brazil," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0213, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  14. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Parker, Susan W., 2001. "Conditional cash transfers and their impact on child work and schooling," FCND discussion papers 123, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  15. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  16. 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.
  17. 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, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  18. 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.
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