IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

An Experiment in Incentive-Based Welfare: The Impact of PROGRESA on Health in Mexico


  • Gertler, Paul J

    (UC-Berkeley & NBER)

  • Simone Boyce


We investigate the impact of a unique anti-poverty program in Mexico on health outcomes. The program, PROGRESA, combines a traditional cash transfer program with financial incentives for families to invest in human capital of children. Our analysis takes advantage of a controlled randomized study design with household panel data. We find that the program significantly increased utilization of public health clinics for preventive care. The program also lowered the number of inpatient hospitalizations and visits to private providers, which is consistent with the hypothesis that PROGESA lowered the incidence of severe illness. We found a significant improvement in the health of both children and adults.

Suggested Citation

  • Gertler, Paul J & Simone Boyce, 2003. "An Experiment in Incentive-Based Welfare: The Impact of PROGRESA on Health in Mexico," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 85, Royal Economic Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2003:85

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: full text
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    anti-pverty program; child health; Mexico;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

    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:ecj:ac2003:85. 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: (Christopher F. Baum). 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.