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The Short-Term Impacts of as Schooling Cash Transfer Program on the Sexual Behavior of Young Women


  • Sarah Baird

    () (Center for Global Health/ Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)

  • Ephraim Chirwa

    () (Deparment of Economiccs/ Chancellor College, University of Malawi)

  • Craig McIntosh

    () (Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS), University of California San Diego)

  • Berk Ozler

    () (Development Economics Research Group, World Bank)


Recent evidence suggests that conditional cash transfer programs for schooling are effective in raising school enrollment and attendance. However, there is also reason to believe that such programs can affect other outcomes, such as the sexual behavior of their young beneficiaries. Zomba Cash Transfer Program is a randomized, ongoing conditional cash transfer intervention targeting young women in Malawi that provides incentives (in the form of school fees and cash transfers) to current schoolgirls and recent dropouts to stay in or return to school. An average offer of US$10/month conditional on satisfactory school attendance ? plus direct payment of secondary school fees ? led to significant declines in early marriage, teenage pregnancy, and self-reported sexual activity among program beneficiaries after just one year of program implementation. For program beneficiaries who were out of school at baseline, the probability of getting married and becoming pregnant declined by more than 40 percent and 30 percent, respectively. In addition, the incidence of the onset of sexual activity was 38 percent lower among all program beneficiaries than the control group. Overall, these results suggest that conditional cash transfer programs not only serve as useful tools for improving school attendance, but may also reduce sexual activity, teen pregnancy, and early marriage.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2010-10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David S. Lee, 2005. "Training, Wages, and Sample Selection: Estimating Sharp Bounds on Treatment Effects," NBER Working Papers 11721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. World Bank, 2008. "World Development Indicators 2008," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11855.
    3. Jishnu Das, 2005. "Reassessing Conditional Cash Transfer Programs," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 57-80.
    4. 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.
    5. Corno, Lucia & de Walque, Damien, 2007. "The determinants of HIV infection and related sexual behaviors : evidence from Lesotho," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4421, The World Bank.
    6. Andrew Morrison & Shwetlena Sabarwal, 2008. "The Economic Participation of Adolescent Girls and Young Women : Why Does It Matter?," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11131, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. World Bank, 2012. "Toward Gender Equality in East Asia and the Pacific : A Companion to the World Development Report," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 12598.

    More about this item


    Population Policies; Adolescent Health; Education For All; Primary Education; Disease Control & Preventon;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General


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