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Ex-ante Evaluation of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: The Case of Bolsa Escola

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  • François Bourguignon

    ()

  • Francisco H. G. Ferreira
  • Phillippe G. Leite

Abstract

Cash transfers targeted to poor people, but conditional on some behavior on their part, such as school attendance or regular visits to health care facilities, are being adopted in a growing number of developing countries. Even where ex-post impact evaluations have been conducted, a number of policy-relevant counterfactual questions have remained unanswered. These are questions about the potential impact of changes in program design, such as benefit levels or the choice of the means-test, on both the current welfare and the behavioral response of household members. This paper proposes a method to simulate the effects of those alternative program designs on welfare and behavior, based on micro-econometrically estimated models of household behavior. In an application to Brazil’s recently introduced federal Bolsa Escola program, we find a surprisingly strong effect of the conditionality on school attendance, but a muted impact of the transfers on the reduction of current poverty and inequality levels.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 516.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2002-516

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Keywords: Conditional Transfers; Demand for Schooling; Child Labor;

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  1. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Evenson, Robert E, 1977. "Fertility, Schooling, and the Economic Contribution of Children in Rural India: An Econometric Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1065-79, July.
  2. Browning, Martin & Francois Bourguignon & Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Valerie Lechene, 1994. "Income and Outcomes: A Structural Model of Intrahousehold Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1067-96, December.
  3. Sonia R Bhalotra, 2000. "Is Child Work Necessary?," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 26, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. Kaushik Basu, 1999. "Child Labor: Cause, Consequence, and Cure, with Remarks on International Labor Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1083-1119, September.
  5. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-67, June.
  6. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Does Child Labour Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioural Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C158-75, March.
  7. 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.
  8. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Lanjouw, Peter & Neri, Marcelo Cortes, 2002. "A Robust Poverty Profile for Brazil Using Multiple Data Sources," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 444, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  9. Gertler, Paul & Glewwe, Paul, 1990. "The willingness to pay for education in developing countries : Evidence from rural Peru," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 251-275, August.
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