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When the money runs out: Do cash transfers have sustained effects on human capital accumulation?

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  • Baird, Sarah
  • McIntosh, Craig
  • Özler, Berk

Abstract

The five-year evaluation of a cash transfer program targeted to adolescent females points to both the promise and limitations of cash transfers for persistent welfare gains. Conditional cash transfers produced sustained improvements in education and fertility for initially out-of-school females but caused no detectable gains in other outcomes. Significant declines in HIV prevalence, pregnancy and early marriage observed during the program among recipients of unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) evaporated quickly after the cessation of support. However, children born to UCT beneficiaries during the program had significantly higher height-for-age z-scores at follow-up pointing to the potential importance of cash during critical periods.

Suggested Citation

  • Baird, Sarah & McIntosh, Craig & Özler, Berk, 2019. "When the money runs out: Do cash transfers have sustained effects on human capital accumulation?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 169-185.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:140:y:2019:i:c:p:169-185
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2019.04.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Karen Macours & Renos Vakis, 2017. "Sustaining Impacts When Transfers End: Women Leaders, Aspirations, and Investments in Children," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Poverty Traps, pages 325-355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Clair Null & Clemencia Cosentino & Swetha Sridharan & Laura Meyer, "undated". "Policies and Programs to Improve Secondary Education in Developing Countries: A Review of the Evidence," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 516e420e637c4851b15e6a3f6, Mathematica Policy Research.
    3. Grogan, Louise, 2018. "The Labeling Effect of a Child Benefits System: Evidence from Russia 1994-2015," IZA Discussion Papers 11962, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Baird, Sarah & McIntosh, Craig & Özler, Berk, 2019. "When the money runs out: Do cash transfers have sustained effects on human capital accumulation?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 169-185.
    5. Pfutze, Tobias, 2019. "Should program graduation be better targeted? The other schooling outcomes of Mexico’s Oportunidades," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 1-1.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cash transfers; Medium-term impacts; Human capital; Adolescents;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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