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Conditional Cash Transfers, Schooling and Child Labor : Micro-Simulating Bolsa Escola

  • François Bourguignon
  • Francisco H. G. Ferreira
  • Phillippe G. Leite

Cash transfers targeted to poor people, but conditional on some behavior on their part, such as school attendance or regular visits to health care facilities, are being adopted in a growing number of developing countries. Even where ex-post impact evaluations have been conducted, a number of policy-relevant counterfactual questions have remained unanswered. These are questions about the potential impact of changes in program design, such as benefit levels or the choice of the means-test, on both the current welfare and the behavioral response of household members. This paper proposes a method to simulate the effects of those alternative program designs on welfare and behavior, based on micro-econometrically estimated models of household behavior. In an application to Brazil's recently introduced federal Bolsa Escola program, we find a surprisingly strong effect of the conditionality on school attendance, but a muted impact of the transfers on the reduction of current poverty and inequality levels.

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Paper provided by DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure) in its series DELTA Working Papers with number 2003-07.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:del:abcdef:2003-07
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  1. Gordon B. Dahl, 2002. "Mobility and the Return to Education: Testing a Roy Model with Multiple Markets," RCER Working Papers 488, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Chiappori, P.A., 1989. "Collective Labour Supply and Welfare," DELTA Working Papers 89-07, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Does Child Labour Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioural Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C158-75, March.
  4. Gertler, Paul & Glewwe, Paul, 1990. "The willingness to pay for education in developing countries : Evidence from rural Peru," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 251-275, August.
  5. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
  6. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Evenson, Robert E, 1977. "Fertility, Schooling, and the Economic Contribution of Children in Rural India: An Econometric Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1065-79, July.
  7. Schmertmann, Carl P., 1994. "Selectivity bias correction methods in polychotomous sample selection models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 101-132.
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