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Conditional Cash Transfers: The Case of Progresa/Oportunidades


  • Susan W. Parker
  • Petra E. Todd


Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs innovate by conditioning transfers to poor families on investments in the human capital of children and other family members. The Mexican CCT program Progresa/Oportunidades began in 1997 and has served as a model for many of the now over sixty countries with CCTs around the world, in large part due to its initial evaluation with an experimental design and numerous follow-up studies. This article reviews the literature on the development, evaluation, and findings of Progresa/Oportunidades, summarizing what is known about program effects, taking into account corrections for multiple-hypothesis testing.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan W. Parker & Petra E. Todd, 2017. "Conditional Cash Transfers: The Case of Progresa/Oportunidades," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 866-915, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:866-915
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.20151233

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Sam Watson’s journal round-up for 30th October 2017
      by ? in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2017-10-30 12:00:00
    2. Sam Watson’s journal round-up for 13th November 2017
      by ? in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2017-11-13 12:33:00


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Natalia Guerrero & Oswaldo Molina & Diego Winkelried, 2020. "Conditional cash transfers, spillovers, and informal health care: Evidence from Peru," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 111-122, February.
    2. Klein, Matthew J. & Barham, Bradford L., 2018. "Point Estimates of Household Bargaining Power Using Outside Options," Staff Paper Series 590, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    3. De Walque,Damien B. C. M. & Valente,Christine, 2018. "Incentivizing school attendance in the presence of parent-child information frictions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8476, The World Bank.
    4. Achyuta Adhvaryu & Anant Nyshadham & Teresa Molina & Jorge Tamayo, 2018. "Helping Children Catch Up: Early Life Shocks and the PROGRESA Experiment," NBER Working Papers 24848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Raymundo Campos-Vázquez & Nora Lustig & John Scott, 2018. "Inequality in Mexico: Labour markets and fiscal redistribution 1989–2014," WIDER Working Paper Series 188, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Ana Nuevo-Chiquero & Francisco J. Pino, 2019. "To Pill or not to Pill? Access to Emergency Contraception and Contraceptive Behaviour," Working Papers wp477, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    7. Diego E. Vacaflores & James P. LeSage, 2020. "Spillover effects in adoption of cash transfer programs by Latin American countries," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 177-199, April.
    8. Norman V. Loayza & Steven Pennings, 2020. "Macroeconomic Policy in the Time of COVID-19," World Bank Other Operational Studies 33540, The World Bank.
    9. John Scott & Enrique de la Rosa & Rodrigo Aranda, 2017. "Inequality and fiscal redistribution in Mexico: 1992–2015," WIDER Working Paper Series 194, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Moshiri, Saeed & Martinez Santillan, Miguel Alfonso, 2018. "The welfare effects of energy price changes due to energy market reform in Mexico," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 663-672.
    11. Sarmiento Espinel, Jaime Andrés & Silva Arias, Adriana Carolina & van Gameren, Edwin, 2019. "Evolution of the inequality of educational opportunities from secondary education to university," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 193-202.
    12. John Scott & Enrique de la Rosa & Rodrigo Aranda, 2017. "Inequality and Fiscal Redistribution in Mexico," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 65, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    13. Bauchet, Jonathan & Undurraga, Eduardo A. & Reyes-García, Victoria & Behrman, Jere R. & Godoy, Ricardo A., 2018. "Conditional cash transfers for primary education: Which children are left out?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 1-12.
    14. Duque, Valentina & Rosales-Rueda, Maria & Sanchez, Fabio, 2019. "How Do Early-Life Shocks Interact with Subsequent Human Capital Investments? Evidence from Administrative Data," Working Papers 2019-17, University of Sydney, School of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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