IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

  • Karen Macours
  • Norbert Schady
  • Renos Vakis

Cash transfer programs have become extremely popular in the developing world. A large literature analyzes their effects on schooling, health and nutrition, but relatively little is known about possible impacts on child development. This paper analyzes the impact of a cash transfer program on early childhood cognitive development. Children in households randomly assigned to receive benefits had significantly higher levels of development nine months after the program began. There is no fade-out of program effects two years after the program ended. Additional random variation shows that these impacts are unlikely to result from the cash component of the program alone. (JEL H23, I15, J13, O15)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.4.2.247
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/data/2008-0172_data.zip
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/app/2008-0172_app.pdf
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

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

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 247-73

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:247-73
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.4.2.247
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-applied
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer & Rebecca Thornton, 2004. "Incentives to learn," Natural Field Experiments 00289, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Norbert Schady & Maria Caridad Araujo, 2008. "Cash Transfers, Conditions, and School enrollment in Ecuador," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  3. Jennifer Ward-Batts, 2008. "Out of the Wallet and into the Purse: Using Micro Data to Test Income Pooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 325-351.
  4. James J. Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter A. Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2009. "The Rate of Return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program," NBER Working Papers 15471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Manacorda, Marco, 2008. "Giving children a better start: Preschool attendance and school-age profiles," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1416-1440, June.
  6. Samia Amin & Jishnu Das & Markus Goldstein, 2008. "Are You Being Served? New Tools for Measuring Services Delivery," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6921.
  7. Kremer, Michael Robert & Miguel, Edward A. & Thorton, Rebecca L, 2004. "Incentives to Learn," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt9kc4p47q, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Duncan Thomas, 1994. "Like Father, like Son; Like Mother, like Daughter: Parental Resources and Child Height," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 950-988.
  9. Mahnaz Islam & John Hoddinott, 2009. "Evidence of Intrahousehold Flypaper Effects from a Nutrition Intervention in Rural Guatemala," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 215-238, 01.
  10. Macours, Karen & Vakis, Renos, 2008. "Seasonal Migration and Early Childhood Development," Working Paper Series RP2008/48, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  11. Mark R. Rosenzweig & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1994. "Are There Increasing Returns to the Intergenerational Production of Human Capital? Maternal Schooling and Child Intellectual Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 670-693.
  12. Jere R. Behrman & Yingmei Cheng & Petra E. Todd, 2004. "Evaluating Preschool Programs When Length of Exposure to the Program Varies: A Nonparametric Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 108-132, February.
  13. Jorge M. Aguero & Michael R. Carter & Ingrid Woolard, 2006. "The Impact of Unconditional Cash Transfers on Nutrition: The South African Child Support Grant," SALDRU Working Papers 8, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  14. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Edward l Miguel & Charu Puri-Sharma, 2006. "Anaemia and School Participation," Working Papers id:337, eSocialSciences.
  15. John Strauss & Duncan Thomas, 1998. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 766-817, June.
  16. Schady, Norbert, 2006. "Early childhood development in Latin America and the Caribbean," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3869, The World Bank.
  17. Cheryl Doss, 2006. "The Effects of Intrahousehold Property Ownership on Expenditure Patterns in Ghana," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 149-180, March.
  18. Christina Paxson & Norbert Schady, 2007. "Cognitive Development among Young Children in Ecuador: The Roles of Wealth, Health, and Parenting," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
  19. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1999. "Early Test Scores, Socioeconomic Status and Future Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 6943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2006. "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Jere R. Behrman & John Hoddinott, 2005. "Programme Evaluation with Unobserved Heterogeneity and Selective Implementation: The Mexican "PROGRESA" Impact on Child Nutrition," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(4), pages 547-569, 08.
  22. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Does Female Income Share Influence Household Expenditures? Evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 77-96, February.
  23. Francine D. Blau & Adam J. Grossberg, 1990. "Maternal Labor Supply and Children's Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 3536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. 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.
  25. Hanan G. Jacoby, 2002. "Is There an Intrahousehold "Flypaper Effect"? Evidence From a School Feeding Programme," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 196-221, January.
  26. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.
  27. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  28. Macours, Karen & Vakis, Renos, 2009. "Changing households'investments and aspirations through social interactions : evidence from a randomized transfer program," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5137, The World Bank.
  29. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Gertler, Paul, 2009. "The effect of pre-primary education on primary school performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 219-234, February.
  30. Peter Kooreman, 2000. "The Labeling Effect of a Child Benefit System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 571-583, June.
  31. Armecin, Graeme & Behrman, Jere R. & Duazo, Paulita & Ghuman, Sharon & Gultiano, Socorro & King, Elizabeth M. & Lee, Nannette, 2006. "Early childhood development through an integrated program : evidence from the Philippines," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3922, The World Bank.
  32. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597.
  33. Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
  34. Schady, Norbert & Rosero, Jose, 2007. "Are cash transfers made to women spent like other sources of income?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4282, The World Bank.
  35. Maluccio, John A. & Flores, Rafael, 2004. "Impact evaluation of a conditional cash transfer program," FCND briefs 184, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  36. Eric I. Knudsen & James J. Heckman & Judy L. Cameron & Jack P. Shonkoff, 2006. "Economic, Neurobiological and Behavioral Perspectives on Building America's Future Workforce," NBER Working Papers 12298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-household Allocation in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 8061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 2000. "School Quality and the Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 755-774.
  39. Karen Macours & Norbert Schady & Renos Vakis, 2012. "Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 62638, Inter-American Development Bank.
  40. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
  41. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
  42. Thomas M. Fraker & Alberto P. Martini & James C. Ohls, 1995. "The Effect of Food Stamp Cashout on Food Expenditures: An Assessment of the Findings from Four Demonstrations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 633-649.
  43. Paxson, Christina & Schady, Norbert, 2007. "Does money matter ? The effects of cash transfers on child health and development in rural Ecuador," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4226, The World Bank.
  44. Edmonds, Eric, 2002. "Reconsidering the labeling effect for child benefits: evidence from a transition economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 303-309, August.
  45. Ghuman, Sharon & Behrman, Jere R & Borja, Judith B & Gultiano, Socorro & King, Elizabeth M, 2005. "Family Background, Service Providers, and Early Childhood Development in the Philippines: Proxies and Interactions," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 129-64, October.
  46. Edmonds, Eric V., 2006. "Child labor and schooling responses to anticipated income in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 386-414, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:247-73. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)

or (Michael P. Albert)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.