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Living longer: The effect of the Mexican conditional cash transfer program on elderly mortality

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  • Barham, Tania
  • Rowberry, Jacob

Abstract

With both an aging population and a transition from communicable to chronic diseases, the health of the elderly is a growing issue in many developing countries. Conditional cash transfer programs are usually thought to benefit young people, but may also benefit other age groups since some programs require that all household members have regular preventive health check-ups. This paper exploits the phasing-in of the Mexican conditional cash transfer program, Progresa, between 1997 and 2000, and shows a 4% decline in average, municipality-level mortality for people aged 65 and older. The program not only reduced deaths due to more traditional infectious diseases, but also diabetes related deaths. Given that diabetes deaths are a leading cause of death in Mexico, and in the top 10 causes of death in many high- and middle-income countries, this is an important finding.

Suggested Citation

  • Barham, Tania & Rowberry, Jacob, 2013. "Living longer: The effect of the Mexican conditional cash transfer program on elderly mortality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 226-236.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:105:y:2013:i:c:p:226-236
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2013.08.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hoddinott, John & Skoufias, Emmanuel, 2004. "The Impact of PROGRESA on Food Consumption," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 37-61, October.
    2. Jere R. Behrman & Susan W. Parker, 2011. "The Impact of the PROGRESA/Oportunidades Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Health and Related Outcomes for the Aging in Mexico," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-032, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    3. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    4. R. Lozano & C. J. L. Murray & J. Frenk & J.‐L. Bobadilla, 1995. "Burden of disease assessment and health system reform: Results of a study in Mexico," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(3), pages 555-563, May.
    5. Guy Stecklov & Paul Winters & Marco Stampini & Benjamin Davis, 2005. "Do conditional cash transfers influence migration? A study using experimental data from the Mexican progresa program," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(4), pages 769-790, November.
    6. 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 - Books, The World Bank Group, number 2597.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fernández Guerrico, Sofía, 2021. "The effects of trade-induced worker displacement on health and mortality in Mexico," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    2. 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.
    3. Avitabile, Ciro, 2021. "Spillovers and Social Interaction Effects in the Demand for Preventive Healthcare: Evidence from the PROGRESA program," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    4. Clotilde Mahé & Philipp Hessel, 2022. "School-age exposure to conditional cash transfers and adult mental health: Evidence from Mexico’s Progresa," Documentos de trabajo 020155, Escuela de Gobierno - Universidad de los Andes.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    CCT; Mortality; Elderly; Health; Mexico; Progresa; Oportunidades;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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