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A Dynamic Incentive-Based Argument for Conditional Transfers

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  • DILIP MOOKHERJEE
  • DEBRAJ RAY

Abstract

We compare the long-run effects of replacing unconditional transfers to the poor by transfers conditional on the education of children. Unlike Mirrlees' income taxation model, the distribution of skill evolves endogenously. Human capital accumulation follows the Freeman-Ljungqvist-Mookherjee-Ray OLG model with missing capital markets and dynastic bequest motives. Conditional transfers (funded by taxes on earnings of the skilled) are shown to induce higher long-run output per capita and (both utilitarian and Rawlsian) welfare, owing to their superior effect on skill accumulation incentives. The result is established both with two skill levels, and a continuum of occupations. Copyright © 2008 The Economic Society of Australia.

Suggested Citation

  • Dilip Mookherjee & Debraj Ray, 2008. "A Dynamic Incentive-Based Argument for Conditional Transfers," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages 2-16, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:84:y:2008:i:s1:p:s2-s16
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ljungqvist, Lars, 1993. "Economic underdevelopment : The case of a missing market for human capital," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 219-239, April.
    2. 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 237-275, October.
    3. Mookherjee, Dilip & Napel, Stefan, 2007. "Intergenerational mobility and macroeconomic history dependence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 49-78, November.
    4. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir, 2004. "A Behavioral-Economics View of Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 419-423, May.
    5. Banerjee, Abhijit Vinayak & Benabou, Roland & Mookherjee, Dilip (ed.), 2006. "Understanding Poverty," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195305203.
    6. Freeman, Scott, 1996. "Equilibrium Income Inequality among Identical Agents," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1047-1064, October.
    7. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Parker, Susan W., 2001. "Conditional cash transfers and their impact on child work and schooling," FCND briefs 123, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Decentralized targeting of an antipoverty program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 705-727, April.
    9. Thurow, Lester C, 1974. "Cash Versus In-Kind Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 190-195, May.
    10. Debraj Ray, 2006. "On the dynamics of inequality," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 29(2), pages 291-306, October.
    11. Dilip Mookherjee & Debraj Ray, 2003. "Persistent Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 369-393.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schneider, Andrea, 2010. "Redistributive taxation vs. education subsidies: Fostering equality and social mobility in an intergenerational model," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 597-605, August.
    2. Joshi, Shareen & Sivaram, Anusuya, 2014. "Does it Pay to Deliver? An Evaluation of India’s Safe Motherhood Program," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 434-447.
    3. Dilip Mookherjee & Silvia Prina & Debraj Ray, 2010. "A Theory Of Endogenous Fertility With Occupational Choice," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-036, Boston University - Department of Economics.

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