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Improving the Design of Conditional Transfer Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Education Experiment in Colombia

  • Felipe Barrera-Osorio
  • Marianne Bertrand
  • Leigh L. Linden
  • Francisco Perez-Calle

Using a student level randomization, we compare three education-based conditional cash transfers designs: a standard design, a design where part of the monthly transfers are postponed until children have to re-enroll in school, and a design that lowers the reward for attendance but incentivizes graduation and tertiary enrollment. The two nonstandard designs significantly increase enrollment rates at both the secondary and tertiary levels while delivering the same attendance gains as the standard design. Postponing some of the attendance transfers to the time of re-enrollment appears particularly effective for the most at-risk children. (JEL H23, I21, I22, J13, O15)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 167-95

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:3:y:2011:i:2:p:167-95
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.3.2.167
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  1. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Erik Bloom & Elizabeth King & Michael Kremer, 2002. "Vouchers for Private Schooling in Colombia: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1535-1558, December.
  2. Khandker, Shahidur & Pitt, Mark & Fuwa, Nobuhiko, 2003. "Subsidy to Promote Girls' Secondary Education: The Female Stipend Program in Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 23688, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Angelucci, Manuela & De Giorgi, Giacomo & Rangel, Marcos A. & Rasul, Imran, 2010. "Family networks and school enrolment: Evidence from a randomized social experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 197-221, April.
  4. repec:oup:qjecon:v:121:y:2006:i:2:p:635-672 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. T. Paul Schultz, 2001. "School Subsidies for the Poor: Evaluating the Mexican Progresa Poverty Program," Working Papers 834, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  6. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Michael Kremer, 2006. "Long-Term Educational Consequences of Secondary School Vouchers: Evidence from Administrative Records in Colombia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 847-862, June.
  7. World Bank, 2006. "World Development Indicators 2006," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 8151.
  8. Richard Blundell & Pierre-Andr� Chiappori & Costas Meghir, 2005. "Collective Labor Supply with Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1277-1306, December.
  9. 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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