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Evaluating the impact of conditional cash transfer programs : lessons from Latin America

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  • Rawlings, Laura B.
  • Rubio, Gloria M.
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    Abstract

    Unlike most development initiatives, conditional cash transfer programs recently introduced in the Latin America and the Caribbean region have been subject to rigorous evaluations of their effectiveness. These programs provide money to poor families, conditional on certain behavior, usually investments in human capital-such as sending children to school or bringing them to health centers on a regular basis. Rawlings and Rubio review the experience in evaluating the impact of these programs, exploring the application of experimental and quasi-experimental evaluation methods and summarizing results from programs launched in Brazil, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Evaluation results from the first generation of programs in Brazil, Mexico, and Nicaragua show that conditional cash transfer programs are effective in promoting human capital accumulation among poor households. There is clear evidence of success in increasing enrollment rates, improving preventive health care, and raising household consumption. Despite this promising evidence, many questions remain unanswered about the impact of conditional cash transfer programs, including those concerning their effectiveness under different country conditions and the sustainability of the welfare impacts.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3119.

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    Date of creation: 31 Aug 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3119

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    Keywords: Public Health Promotion; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Health Systems Development&Reform; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Poverty Assessment; Health Systems Development&Reform;

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    1. Behrman, Jere R. & Hoddinott, John, 2001. "An evaluation of the impact of PROGRESA on pre-school child height," FCND discussion papers 104, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. T. Paul Schultz, 2001. "School Subsidies for the Poor: Evaluating the Mexican Progresa Poverty Program," Working Papers 834, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    3. Hoddinott, John & Skoufias, Emmanual, 2003. "The impact of Progresa on food consumption," FCND briefs 150, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Schultz, T. Paul, 2001. "School subsidies for the poor," FCND discussion papers 102, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Behrman, Jere R. & Deolalikar, Anil B., 1988. "Health and nutrition," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 631-711 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:
    1. Pierre, Gaelle & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2004. "Employment regulations through the eyes of employers - do they matter and how do firms respond to them?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3463, The World Bank.
    2. World Bank, 2007. "Brazil : Measuring Poverty Using Household Consumption," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8037, The World Bank.
    3. World Bank, 2005. "Cambodia : Quality Basic Education for All," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8643, The World Bank.
    4. Carrillo, Paul E. & Ponce Jarrín, Juan, 2009. "Efficient delivery of subsidies to the poor: Improving the design of a cash transfer program in Ecuador," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 276-284, November.
    5. repec:dgr:uvatin:2008037 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Robert Gillingham & David Locke Newhouse & David Coady & Kangni Kpodar & Moataz El-Said & Paulo A. Medas, 2006. "The Magnitude and Distribution of Fuel Subsidies: Evidence from Bolivia, Ghana, Jordan, Mali, and Sri Lanka," IMF Working Papers 06/247, International Monetary Fund.
    7. 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.
    8. Singh, Prakarsh, 2011. "Performance Pay and Information: Reducing Child Malnutrition in Urban Slums," MPRA Paper 29403, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Heinrich, Carolyn J., 2007. "Demand and Supply-Side Determinants of Conditional Cash Transfer Program Effectiveness," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 121-143, January.
    10. Amanda Glassman & Jessica Todd, 2007. "Performance-Based Incentives for Health: Conditional Cash Transfer Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean," Working Papers 120, Center for Global Development.
    11. Guisan, M.C. & Aguayo, E., 2007. "Health Expenditure, Poverty and Economic Development in Latin America 2000-2005," International Journal of Applied Econometrics and Quantitative Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 4(2), pages 5-24.
    12. 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].
    13. repec:idb:brikps:21798 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Feitosa de Britto, T., 2004. "Conditional cash transfers: why have they become so prominent in recent poverty reduction strategies in Latin America," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19150, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    15. World Bank, 2006. "Making the New Indonesia Work for the Poor," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8172, The World Bank.
    16. Coady, David P., 2004. "Designing and evaluating social safety nets," FCND discussion papers 172, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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