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Brazil's Bolsa Familia: Does it work for adolescents and do they work less for it?

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  • Reynolds, Sarah Anne

Abstract

In 2008, Brazil's conditional cash transfer program Bolsa Familia expanded to cover poor adolescents’ school attendance up to age 17; prior the maximum age was 15. In the first year of implementation, I find an increase in attendance among the 16-year-olds of 6 percentage points, with urban boys responsible for most of this, raising their attendance rates by 16 percentage points. I find no change in attendance for the 17-year-olds who had a gap year in treatment: though they had previously had received Bolsa Familia until age 15, they were not eligible as 16-year-olds in 2007 and once again became eligible in 2008. My findings suggest this expansion of Bolsa Familia was sufficient to maintain youth in school who were already attending, but not powerful enough to reclaim drop-outs. Additionally, I find little evidence that Bolsa Familia impacts the adolescents’ time devoted to work and chores.

Suggested Citation

  • Reynolds, Sarah Anne, 2015. "Brazil's Bolsa Familia: Does it work for adolescents and do they work less for it?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 23-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:46:y:2015:i:c:p:23-38
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2015.02.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Emmanuel Skoufias & Susan Wendy Parker, 2001. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Their Impact on Child Work and Schooling: Evidence from the PROGRESA Program in Mexico," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2001), pages 45-96, August.
    2. Sarah Baird & Craig McIntosh & Berk Özler, 2011. "Cash or Condition? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1709-1753.
    3. de Janvry, Alain & Finan, Frederico & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Vakis, Renos, 2006. "Can conditional cash transfer programs serve as safety nets in keeping children at school and from working when exposed to shocks?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 349-373, April.
    4. Suzanne Duryea & Andrew Morrison, 2004. "The Effect of Conditional Transfers on School Performance and Child Labor: Evidence from an Ex-Post Impact Evaluation in Costa Rica," Research Department Publications 4359, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    5. Wolfe, Barbara L. & Behrman, Jere R., 1984. "Who is schooled in developing countries? The roles of income, parental schooling, sex, residence and family size," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 231-245, June.
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    1. repec:eee:jhecon:v:63:y:2019:i:c:p:128-144 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic development; Conditional cash transfer; Brazil; Youth labor;

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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