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The impact of the Bolsa Escola/Familia conditional cash transfer program on enrollment, dropout rates and grade promotion in Brazil

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  • Glewwe, Paul
  • Kassouf, Ana Lucia

Abstract

We examine the impact of Brazil's Bolsa Escola/Familia program on Brazilian children's education outcomes. Bolsa provides cash payments to poor households if their children (ages 6 to 15) are enrolled in school. Using school census data to compare changes in enrollment, dropping out and grade promotion across schools that adopted Bolsa at different times, we estimate that the program has: increased enrollment by about 5.5% (6.5%) in grades 1–4 (grades 5–8); lowered dropout rates by 0.5 (0.4) percentage points in grades 1–4 (grades 5–8); and raised grade promotion rates by 0.9 (0.3) percentage points in grades 1–4 (grades 5–8). About one third of Brazil's children participate in Bolsa, so assuming no spillover effects onto non-participants implies that Bolsa's impacts are three times higher than these estimates. However, simple calculations using enrollment impacts suggest that Bolsa's benefits in terms of increased wages may not exceed its costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Glewwe, Paul & Kassouf, Ana Lucia, 2012. "The impact of the Bolsa Escola/Familia conditional cash transfer program on enrollment, dropout rates and grade promotion in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 505-517.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:97:y:2012:i:2:p:505-517
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2011.05.008
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    Cited by:

    1. Leighton, Margaret & Souza, Priscila & Straub, Stéphane, 2016. "Social Promotion in Primary School: Immediate and Cumulated Effects on Attainment," TSE Working Papers 16-649, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    2. Cruz, Marcio & Ziegelhofer, Zacharias, 2014. "Beyond the income effect : impacts of conditional cash transfer programs on private investments in human capital," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6867, The World Bank.
    3. Barrientos, Armando & Debowicz, Darío & Woolard, Ingrid, 2016. "Heterogeneity in Bolsa Família outcomes," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 33-40.
    4. Dietrich, Stephan & Malerba, Daniele & Barrientos, Armando & Gassmann, Franziska, 2017. "Rates of return to antipoverty transfers in Uganda," MERIT Working Papers 040, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. Kate Ambler & Diego Aycinena & Dean Yang, 2015. "Channeling Remittances to Education: A Field Experiment among Migrants from El Salvador," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 207-232, April.
    6. Armando Barrientos & Dario Debowicz & Ingrid Woolard, 2014. "Antipoverty Transfers and Inclusive Growth in Brazil," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series iriba_wp04, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    7. Chioda, Laura & De Mello, João M.P. & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2016. "Spillovers from conditional cash transfer programs: Bolsa Família and crime in urban Brazil," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 306-320.
    8. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:100-118 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:63-80 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. 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.
    11. de Brauw, Alan & Gilligan, Daniel O. & Hoddinott, John & Roy, Shalini, 2015. "The Impact of Bolsa Família on Schooling," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 303-316.
    12. Rafael P. Ribas, 2014. "Liquidity Constraints, Informal Financing, and Entrepreneurship: Direct and Indirect Effects of a Cash Transfer Programme," Working Papers 131, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    13. Andrea Sales S. De A. Melo, 2018. "The ?Bolsa-Família? Program And The Food Insecurity In Brazilian Household Between 2009 And 2013," Anais do XLIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 44th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 72, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    14. repec:eee:injoed:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:71-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Murat G. Kirdar & Meltem Dayioglu & Ismet Koç, 2013. "Does Longer Compulsory Education Equalize Educational Attainment? Evidence From A Major Policy Reform," Working Papers 777, Economic Research Forum, revised Oct 2013.
    16. Morais de Sa e Silva, Michelle, 2015. "Conditional cash transfers and improved education quality: A political search for the policy link," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 169-181.
    17. Dietrich, Stephan & Malerba, Daniele & Barrientos, Armando & Gassmann, Franziska & Mohnen, Pierre & Tirivayi, Nyasha & Kavuma, Susan & Matovu, Fred, 2017. "Social protection investments, human capital, and income growth: Simulating the returns to social cash transfers in Uganda," MERIT Working Papers 029, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    18. Bergolo, Marcelo & Galván, Estefanía, 2018. "Intra-household Behavioral Responses to Cash Transfer Programs. Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 100-118.
    19. Deininger,Klaus W. & Nagarajan,Hari Krishnan & Singh,Sudhir K. & Deininger,Klaus W. & Nagarajan,Hari Krishnan & Singh,Sudhir K., 2016. "Short-term effects of India's employment guarantee program on labor markets and agricultural productivity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7665, The World Bank.
    20. Akresh, Richard & de Walque, Damien & Kazianga, Harounan, 2013. "Cash transfers and child schooling : evidence from a randomized evaluation of the role of conditionality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6340, The World Bank.
    21. repec:pal:eurjdr:v:29:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1057_s41287-016-0012-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Ferrario, Marcela Nogueira, 2014. "The impacts on family consumption of the Bolsa Família subsidy programme," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), April.
    23. Kirdar, Murat G. & Dayioglu, Meltem & Koc, Ismet, 2012. "Does longer compulsory education equalize educational attainment by gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background?," MPRA Paper 39995, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    24. Chitolina, Lia & Foguel, Miguel Nathan & Menezes-Filho, Naercio Aquino, 2016. "The impact of the expansion of the bolsa familia program on the time allocation of youths and their parents," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 70(2), July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education; Conditional cash transfer programs; Brazil;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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