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On the Design of Education Conditional Cash Transfer Programs and non Education Outcomes: The Case of Teenage Pregnancy


  • Darwin Cortés
  • Juan Gallego
  • Darío Maldonado


We investigate the effect of education Conditional Cash Transfer programs (CCTs) on teenage pregnancy. Our main concern is with how the size and sign of the effect may depend on the design of the program. Using a simple model we show that an education CCT that conditions renewal on school performance reduces teenage pregnancy; the program can increase teenage pregnancy if it does not condition on school performance. Then, using an original data base, we estimate the causal impact on teenage pregnancy of two education CCTs implemented in Bogotá (Subsidio Educativo, SE, and Familias en Acción, FA); both programs differ particularly on whether school success is a condition for renewal or not. We show that SE has negative average effect on teenage pregnancy while FA has a null average effect. We also find that SE has either null or no effect for adolescents in all age and grade groups while FA has positive, null or negative effects for adolescents in different age and grade groups. Since SE conditions renewal on school success and FA does not, we can argue that the empirical results are consistent with the predictions of our model and that conditioning renewal of the subsidy on school success crucially determines the effect of the subsidy on teenage pregnancy.

Suggested Citation

  • Darwin Cortés & Juan Gallego & Darío Maldonado, 2011. "On the Design of Education Conditional Cash Transfer Programs and non Education Outcomes: The Case of Teenage Pregnancy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3531, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3531

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. V. Joseph Hotz & Susan Williams McElroy & Seth G. Sanders, 2005. "Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences: Exploiting a Natural Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
    2. de Janvry, Alain & Finan, Frederico & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Vakis, Renos, 2006. "Can conditional cash transfer programs serve as safety nets in keeping children at school and from working when exposed to shocks?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 349-373, April.
    3. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
    4. Saul Hoffman & E. Foster & Frank Furstenberg, 1993. "Reevaluating the costs of teenage childbearing: Response to Geronimus and Korenman," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(2), pages 291-296, May.
    5. Grant Miller, 2010. "Contraception as Development? New Evidence from Family Planning in Colombia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(545), pages 709-736, June.
    6. Lundberg, Shelly & Plotnick, Robert D, 1995. "Adolescent Premarital Childbearing: Do Economic Incentives Matter?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 177-200, April.
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    8. Jairo Núñez & Carmen Elisa Flórez, 2001. "Teenage Childbearing in Latin American Countries," Research Department Publications 3131, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    9. Wolfe, Barbara & Wilson, Kathryn & Haveman, Robert, 2001. "The role of economic incentives in teenage nonmarital childbearing choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 473-511, September.
    10. Sarah Baird & Ephraim Chirwa & Craig McIntosh & Berk Ozler, 2009. "The Short-Term Impacts of as Schooling Cash Transfer Program on the Sexual Behavior of Young Women," Working Papers 2010-10, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    11. Helena Holmlund, 2005. "Estimating Long-Term Consequences of Teenage Childbearing: An Examination of the Siblings Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
    12. Carmen Elisa Flórez & Victoria Eugenia Soto, 2008. "El estado de la salud sexual y reproductiva en América Latina y el Caribe: Una visión global," Research Department Publications 4572, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    13. 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.
    14. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.
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    16. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Marianne Bertrand & Leigh L. Linden & Francisco Perez-Calle, 2011. "Improving the Design of Conditional Transfer Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Education Experiment in Colombia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 167-195, April.
    17. SandraE. Black & PaulJ. Devereux & KjellG. Salvanes, 2008. "Staying in the Classroom and out of the maternity ward? The effect of compulsory schooling laws on teenage births," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 1025-1054, July.
    18. Joshua D. Angrist & William N. Evans, 1996. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of the 1970 State Abortion Reforms," NBER Working Papers 5406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. David I. Levine & Gary Painter, 2003. "The Schooling Costs of Teenage Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing: Analysis with a Within-School Propensity-Score-Matching Estimator," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 884-900, November.
    20. Arline T. Geronimus & Sanders Korenman, 1992. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of Teen Childbearing Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1187-1214.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Políticas para reducir los riesgos que corren los jóvenes: el efecto de las Transferencias Condicionales en Dinero
      by Darío Maldonado in Foco Económico on 2011-08-23 17:00:00
    2. Políticas para reducir los riesgos que corren los jóvenes: el efecto de las Transferencias Condicionales en Dinero
      by Darío Maldonado in Foco Económico on 2012-08-23 17:00:00


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    Cited by:

    1. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Dario Maldonado & Catherine Rodríguez, 2012. "Calidad de la educación básica y media en Colombia: diagnóstico y propuestas," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 010078, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    2. World Bank Group, 2015. "Bolivia," World Bank Other Operational Studies 23829, The World Bank.

    More about this item


    teenage risk taking behavior; teenage pregnancy; education; conditional cash transfers; incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth


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