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The Effect of Conditional Cash Transfers on Educational Opportunities - Experimental Evidence from Latin America

Author

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  • Andrés Ham

    (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - FCE - UNLP y CONICET)

Abstract

Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) provide income to the poor in an effort to improve current welfare and promote investment in human and social capital to prevent future deprivation. So far, the impact evaluation literature has focused on estimating current effects on outcomes such as school attendance, consumption and labor supply. However, these studies overlook potential redistributive effects, mainly via the equalization of opportunities. The ensuing analysis draws from recent contributions in the literature on opportunities and incorporates these with impact evaluation methods. The main findings indicate a remarkable redistributive effect of CCTs and a positive initial impact on opportunities. However, while mean outcomes improve markedly, the evidence suggests that the distribution of opportunities readjusts to the positive gains, perhaps indicating deeply rooted inequities. These results are expected to encourage discussion on program impact beyond those evaluated and addressing the programs’ long-term consequences.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrés Ham, 2010. "The Effect of Conditional Cash Transfers on Educational Opportunities - Experimental Evidence from Latin America," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0109, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  • Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0109
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    File URL: http://www.cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/wp/wp-content/uploads/doc_cedlas109.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jaime Saavedra-Chanduví & José R. Molinas & Ricardo Paes de Barros & Francisco H. G. Ferreira, 2009. "Measuring Inequality of Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 361, January.
    2. François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2007. "Inequality Of Opportunity In Brazil," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(4), pages 585-618, December.
    3. Behrman, Jere R & Sengupta, Piyali & Todd, Petra, 2005. "Progressing through PROGRESA: An Impact Assessment of a School Subsidy Experiment in Rural Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 237-275, October.
    4. Mejia, Daniel & St-Pierre, Marc, 2008. "Unequal opportunities and human capital formation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 395-413, June.
    5. María Alzúa & Guillermo Cruces & Laura Ripani, 2013. "Welfare programs and labor supply in developing countries: experimental evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1255-1284, October.
    6. Donal O'Neill & Olive Sweetman & Dirk van de gaer, 1999. "Equality of Opportunity and Kernel Density Estimation: An Application to Intergenerational Mobility," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n950999, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    poverty; opportunities; education; children; impact evaluation; conditional cash transfers;

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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