IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Household Responses to Cash Transfers


  • Bram De Rock
  • Tom Potoms
  • Denni Tommasi


This paper exploits the experimental set-up of the cash transfer program PROGRESA in rural Mexico to estimate a collective model of the household in order to investigate how parents allocate household resources. We show that household decisions are compatible with the collective model at the beginning of the program, but reject it later on. This shows that second order effects of cash transfer programs are important and suggests we need richer structural models to thoroughly analyse these policy interventions. We end this paper by proposing such a simple and tractable model of household behaviour, where decision makers may have misaligned preferences as a result of the treatment about the importance of a public good.

Suggested Citation

  • Bram De Rock & Tom Potoms & Denni Tommasi, 2017. "Household Responses to Cash Transfers," Working Papers ECARES 2017-38, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/259940

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text for the whole work, or for a work part
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Angelucci Manuela & De Giorgi Giacomo & Rangel Marcos & Rasul Imran, 2009. "Village Economies and the Structure of Extended Family Networks," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-46, October.
    2. Attanasio, Orazio & Di Maro, Vincenzo & Lechene, Valérie & Phillips, David, 2013. "Welfare consequences of food prices increases: Evidence from rural Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 136-151.
    3. P.-A. Chiappori & I. Ekeland, 2009. "The Microeconomics of Efficient Group Behavior: Identification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 763-799, May.
    4. Adolf Buse, 1994. "Evaluating the Linearized Almost Ideal Demand System," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 76(4), pages 781-793.
    5. Toshinobu Matsuda, 2006. "Linear approximations to the quadratic almost ideal demand system," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 663-675, September.
    6. Laurens Cherchye & Frederic Vermeulen, 2008. "Nonparametric Analysis of Household Labor Supply: Goodness of Fit and Power of the Unitary and the Collective Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 267-274, May.
    7. Jonathan Robinson, 2012. "Limited Insurance within the Household: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 140-164, October.
    8. Laurens CHERCHYE & Thomas DEMUYNCK & Bram DE ROCK, 2010. "Noncooperative household consumption with caring," Working Papers Department of Economics ces10.34, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    9. Olivier Donni & Nicolas Moreau, 2007. "Collective Labor Supply: A Single-Equation Model and Some Evidence from French Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
    10. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2009. "Opening the Black Box of Intrahousehold Decision Making: Theory and Nonparametric Empirical Tests of General Collective Consumption Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 1074-1104, December.
    11. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, March.
    12. Frederic Vermeulen, 2005. "And the winner is... An empirical evaluation of unitary and collective labour supply models," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 711-734, October.
    13. Browning,Martin & Chiappori,Pierre-André & Weiss,Yoram, 2014. "Economics of the Family," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521795395, March.
    14. Jere R. Behrman & Susan W. Parker, 2011. "The Impact of the PROGRESA/Oportunidades Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Health and Related Outcomes for the Aging in Mexico," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-032, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    15. Denni Tommasi & Alexander Wolf, 2016. "Overcoming Weak Identification in the Estimation of Household Resource Shares," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2016-12, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    16. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2011. "The revealed preference approach to collective consumption behavior: nonparametric testing and sharing rule recovery," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/98560, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    17. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2011. "The Revealed Preference Approach to Collective Consumption Behaviour: Testing and Sharing Rule Recovery," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 176-198.
    18. Paul Gertler, 2004. "Do Conditional Cash Transfers Improve Child Health? Evidence from PROGRESA's Control Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 336-341, May.
    19. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2011. "The Revealed Preference Approach to Collective Consumption Behaviour: Testing and Sharing Rule Recovery," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 176-198.
    20. Angelucci Manuela, 2008. "Love on the Rocks: Domestic Violence and Alcohol Abuse in Rural Mexico," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-43, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    collective model; bargaining power; efficiency; PROGRESA; conditional cash transfers;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/259940. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Benoit Pauwels). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.