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Reassessing Conditional Cash Transfer Programs



During the past decade, the use of conditional cash transfer programs to increase investment in human capital has generated considerable excitement in both research and policy forums. This article surveys the existing literature, which suggests that most conditional cash transfer programs are used for essentially one of two purposes: restoring efficiency when externalities exist or improving equity by targeting resources to poor households. The programs often meet their stated objectives, but in some instances there is tension between the efficiency and equity objectives. The overall impact of a program depends on the gains and losses associated with each objective. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Jishnu Das, 2005. "Reassessing Conditional Cash Transfer Programs," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 57-80.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:20:y:2005:i:1:p:57-80

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baland, Jean-Marie & Dreze, Jean & Leruth, Luc, 1999. "Daily wages and piece rates in agrarian economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 445-461, August.
    2. Bhatia, B,, 1992. "Lush Fields and Parched Throats: The political economy of Growndwater in Gujarat," Research Paper 100, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
    3. Lanjouw, Peter & Stern, Nicholas, 1998. "Economic Development in Palanpur over Five Decades," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288329, June.
    4. Judith Heyer, 1992. "The role of dowries and daughters' marriages in the accumulation and distribution of capital in a South Indian Community," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(4), pages 419-436, July.
    5. Naresh Sharma & Jean Dreze, 1996. "Sharecropping in a North Indian Village," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 1-39.
    6. Arindam Banik, 1993. "Structure of the Credit Market and its link with the other Markets-An Analysis of Village Survey Data in Bangladesh," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 55-71, January.
    7. Bliss, C. J. & Stern, N. H., 1982. "Palanpur: The Economy of an Indian Village," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284192, June.
    8. Martin Ravallion & Gaurav Datt, 1996. "India's Checkered History in Fight against Poverty: Are There Lessons for the Future?," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-33, Monash University, Department of Economics.
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