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Development Chutes and Ladders: A Joint Impact Evaluation of Asset and Cash Transfers in Brazil

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  • Fitz, Dylan

Abstract

Land reforms provide large transfers of assets that enable households to increase investments in agriculture, but they can also lead to increases in human capital. Similarly, conditional cash transfers incentivize human capital investments, but they can also increase productive investments in agriculture. Thus, both programs have direct and indirect effects and may even complement each other, as land reforms provide productive assets that increase the returns to investments while cash transfers provide liquidity that make investments possible. In contrast, the goals of each program may conflict as they compete for scarce household resources. This paper jointly analyzes a recent land reform program and conditional cash transfer in Brazil in order to test for independent and joint treatment effects. Although neither program increases total monthly per capita income levels, the land reform increases agricultural asset holdings while the conditional cash transfer reduces some agricultural investments. Joint participation leads to a more balanced investment strategy, although it forces households to concentrate labor in own farm production rather than nonfarm employment. Collectively, this suggests that participation in both programs enables households to follow pluriactive pathways with broad investment strategies that may provide future financial gains and greater freedom.

Suggested Citation

  • Fitz, Dylan, 2013. "Development Chutes and Ladders: A Joint Impact Evaluation of Asset and Cash Transfers in Brazil," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150254, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:150254
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    Keywords

    Agricultural and Food Policy; International Relations/Trade; Land Economics/Use;

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