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Impact of Oportunidades on Skilled Attendance at Delivery in Rural Areas


  • Jose Urquieta
  • Gustavo Angeles
  • Thomas Mroz
  • Hector Lamadrid-Figueroa
  • Bernardo Hernández


Oportunidades (formerly PROGRESA) is a conditional cash transfer program ran by the Mexican federal government designed to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. Among other activities, it provides free delivery attendance for women enrolled in the program. Skilled attendance at delivery has been identified as an effective strategy to reduce maternal mortality, an important health problem in Mexico. In this paper we assess the impact of Oportunidades on skilled attendance at delivery taking advantage of the experimental design implemented for the evaluation of this program in rural areas and using a variety of analytical techniques. The main results of the study indicate that Oportunidades had, at best, only a small effect on skilled attendance at delivery in treatment communities. The program had larger effects on those women who had one birth just prior to the experimental treatment and another birth subsequent to the experimental treatment. These results should lead to a review about the strategies used by Oportunidades to increase skilled attendance at delivery. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Urquieta & Gustavo Angeles & Thomas Mroz & Hector Lamadrid-Figueroa & Bernardo Hernández, 2009. "Impact of Oportunidades on Skilled Attendance at Delivery in Rural Areas," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(3), pages 539-558, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:57:y:2009:i:3:p:539-558

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Angrist, Joshua D. & Krueger, Alan B., 1999. "Empirical strategies in labor economics," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1277-1366 Elsevier.
    2. Jere R. Behrman & John Hoddinott, 2005. "Programme Evaluation with Unobserved Heterogeneity and Selective Implementation: The Mexican "PROGRESA" Impact on Child Nutrition," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(4), pages 547-569, August.
    3. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-209, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. de Brauw, Alan & Peterman, Amber, 2011. "Can conditional cash transfers improve maternal health and birth outcomes?: Evidence from El Salvador's Comunidades Solidarias Rurales," IFPRI discussion papers 1080, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Díaz, Juan José & Saldarriaga, Víctor, 2017. "Promoting prenatal health care in poor rural areas through conditional cash transfers: evidence from JUNTOS in Peru," Avances de Investigación 0025, Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE).
    3. Kusuma, Dian & Cohen, Jessica & McConnell, Margaret & Berman, Peter, 2016. "Can cash transfers improve determinants of maternal mortality? Evidence from the household and community programs in Indonesia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 10-20.
    4. Independent Evaluation Group, 2014. "Social Safety Nets and Gender : Learning from Impact Evaluations and World Bank Projects," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21365, April.

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