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Does more cash in conditional cash transfer programs always lead to larger impacts on school attendance?

  • Filmer, Deon
  • Schady, Norbert

There is considerable evidence that conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs can have large impacts on school enrollment, including in very poor countries. However, little is known about what features of program design account for the observed outcomes. In this paper we analyze the impact of a program in Cambodia that made payments of varying magnitude to otherwise comparable households. The identification is based on a sharp regression discontinuity design. We find that a modest cash transfer, equivalent to approximately 2% of the consumption of the median recipient household, had a substantial impact on school attendance, approximately 25 percentage points. A somewhat larger transfer did not raise attendance rates above this level.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 96 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 150-157

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:96:y:2011:i:1:p:150-157
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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  1. Chaudhury, Nazmul & Parajuli, Dilip, 2006. "Conditional cash transfers and female schooling : the impact of the female school stipend program on public school enrollments in Punjab, Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4102, The World Bank.
  2. Stefano DellaVigna, 2009. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 315-72, June.
  3. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Petra E. Todd, 2006. "Assessing the Impact of a School Subsidy Program in Mexico: Using a Social Experiment to Validate a Dynamic Behavioral Model of Child Schooling and Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1384-1417, December.
  4. Filmer, Deon & Schady, Norbert, 2009. "School enrollment, selection and test scores," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4998, The World Bank.
  5. Filmer, Deon & Schady, Norbert, 2006. "Getting girls into school : evidence from a scholarship program in Cambodia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3910, The World Bank.
  6. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Maluccio, John A. & Flores, Rafael, 2005. "Impact evaluation of a conditional cash transfer program: the Nicaraguan Red de Protección Social," Research reports 141, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Alain de Janvry & Elisabeth Sadoulet, 2006. "Making Conditional Cash Transfer Programs More Efficient: Designing for Maximum Effect of the Conditionality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 1-29.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
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