Demographic Externalities from Poverty Programs in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from Latin America
Conditional cash transfer programs have been shown to be effective development strategies for raising human capital investments in children in many LDCs. In this paper, we use experimental data from cash transfer programs in three Latin America countries to assess the potential, unintended impact of conditional cash transfers programs on childbearing. Because cash transfer programs both affect household resource levels as well as possibly shape parental preferences for quality versus quantity of children, they may prove to have unintended demographic externalities. Our findings show that the program in Honduras, which may have inadvertently been designed to create incentives to have children, may have in fact raised fertility by somewhere between 2-4 percentage points – a non-negligible impact in a country where fertility is relatively high. In the two other countries where the programs did not include the same unintentional incentives, Mexico and Nicaragua, we found no net impact of the programs on fertility. Our analysis also explored the potential mechanisms through which fertility in Honduras may have risen and we find that marriage rates may have increased. Furthermore, there is some indication in the other two countries that contraceptive use rose but this might be simply to counteract the impact of reduced spousal separation – another possible unintentional impact of the poverty programs.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005.
"Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
- Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20035, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
- Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
- Maluccio, John A. & Flores, Rafael, 2004. "Impact evaluation of a conditional cash transfer program," FCND briefs 184, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Maluccio, John A. & Flores, Rafael, 2004. "Impact evaluation of a conditional cash transfer program," FCND discussion papers 184, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
- LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-620, September.
- N. Ryder, 1964. "The process of demographic translation," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 1(1), pages 74-82, March.
- Boyer, George R, 1989. "Malthus Was Right after All: Poor Relief and Birth Rates in Southeastern England," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 93-114, February.
- Whittington, Leslie A & Alm, James & Peters, H Elizabeth, 1990. "Fertility and the Personal Exemption: Implicit Pronatalist Policy in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 545-556, June.
- Leslie A. Whittington & James Alm & H. Elizabeth Peters, "undated". "Fertility and the Personal Exemption: Implicit Pronatalist Policy in the United States," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 89-6, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Whittington, L.A. & Peters, H.E., 1989. "Fertility And The Personal Exemption: Implicit Pronatalist Policy In The United States," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 89-6, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- Joseph Hotz, V. & Klerman, Jacob Alex & Willis, Robert J., 1993. "The economics of fertility in developed countries," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 275-347 Elsevier.
- Gregory Acs, 1996. "The Impact of Welfare on Young Mothers' Subsequent Childbearing Decisions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 898-915.
- Guy Laroque & Bernard Salanié, 2004. "Fertility and Financial Incentives in France," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 50(3), pages 423-450.
- Laroque, Guy & Salanié, Bernard, 2003. "Fertility and Financial Incentives in France," CEPR Discussion Papers 4064, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Guy Laroque & Bernard Salanié, 2003. "Fertility and Financial Incentives in France," Working Papers 2003-32, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
- Guy Stecklov & Paul Winters & Marco Stampini & Benjamin Davis, 2005. "Do conditional cash transfers influence migration? A study using experimental data from the Mexican progresa program," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(4), pages 769-790, November.
- Kevin Milligan, 2005. "Subsidizing the Stork: New Evidence on Tax Incentives and Fertility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 539-555, August.
- Kevin Milligan, 2002. "Subsidizing the Stork: New Evidence on Tax Incentives and Fertility," NBER Working Papers 8845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "Birth Order, Schooling, and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 121-145, July.
- Cigno, Alessandro, 1986. "Fertility and the Tax-Benefit System: A Reconsideration of the Theory of Family Taxation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1035-1051, December. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)