IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Can a conditional cash transfer reduce teen fertility? The case of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia


  • Olson, Zachary
  • Clark, Rachel Gardner
  • Reynolds, Sarah Anne


In 2008, Brazil's conditional cash transfer program expanded to cover a wider range of ages. Poor families are now given stipends for their children's school attendance up to age seventeen, whereas prior the maximum age was fifteen. Using a nationally representative household survey, we estimate the impact of this policy on teen fertility with a triple difference analysis on the fertility outcomes of treated cohorts vs. non-treated cohorts based on income eligibility, age eligibility, and timing of program implementation. We find a three percentage point drop in fertility among eligible teens within five years of program implementation. This offsets the difference in fertility between poor and non-poor teens. The impact is concentrated in urban areas, with no program effects found in rural areas. We are able to replicate these findings using National Birth Registry Data.

Suggested Citation

  • Olson, Zachary & Clark, Rachel Gardner & Reynolds, Sarah Anne, 2019. "Can a conditional cash transfer reduce teen fertility? The case of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 128-144.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:63:y:2019:i:c:p:128-144
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2018.10.006

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Cortés Darwin & Gallego Juan & Maldonado Darío, 2016. "On the Design of Educational Conditional Cash Transfer Programs and Their Impact on Non-Education Outcomes: The Case of Teenage Pregnancy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 219-258, January.
    3. Guy Stecklov & Paul Winters & Jessica Todd & Ferdinando Regalia, 2006. "Demographic Externalities from Poverty Programs in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from Latin America," Working Papers 2006-01, American University, Department of Economics.
    4. Sarah Baird & Ephraim Chirwa & Craig McIntosh & Berk Özler, 2010. "The short‐term impacts of a schooling conditional cash transfer program on the sexual behavior of young women," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(S1), pages 55-68, September.
    5. David Lam & Suzanne Duryea, 1999. "Effects of Schooling on Fertility, Labor Supply, and Investments in Children, with Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 160-192.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Superti, Luiz Henrique, 2019. "Effects on Fertility of The Brazilian Cash Transfer Program: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach," MPRA Paper 104627, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2020.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:63:y:2019:i:c:p:128-144. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.