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More Schooling and More Learning?: Effects of a Three-Year Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Nicaragua after 10 Years

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  • Barham, Tania
  • Macours, Karen
  • Maluccio, John A.

Abstract

Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs have become the anti-poverty program of choice in many developing countries. Numerous evaluations, often based on rigorous experimental designs, leave little doubt that such programs can increase enrollment and grades attained--in the short term. But evidence is notably lacking on whether these short-term gains translate into longer-term educational benefits needed to fully justify these programs. This paper uses the randomized phase-in of the RPS CCT program in Nicaragua to estimate the long-term effects on educational attainment and learning for boys, measured 10 years after the start of the program. We focus on a cohort of boys aged 9¿12 years at the start of the program in 2000 who, due to the program¿s eligibility criteria and prior school dropout patterns, were likely to have benefitted more in the group of localities that were randomly selected to receive the program first. We find that the short-term program effect of a half grade increase in schooling for boys was sustained after the end of the program and into early adulthood. In addition, results indicate significant and substantial gains in both math and language achievement scores, an approximately one-quarter standard deviation increase in learning outcomes for the now young men. Hence in Nicaragua, schooling and achievement gains coincided, implying important long term returns to CCT programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Barham, Tania & Macours, Karen & Maluccio, John A., 2013. "More Schooling and More Learning?: Effects of a Three-Year Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Nicaragua after 10 Years," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4584, Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:4584
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Karen Macours & Renos Vakis, 2017. "Sustaining Impacts When Transfers End: Women Leaders, Aspirations, and Investments in Children," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Poverty Traps, pages 325-355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Nores, Milagros & Bernal, Raquel & Barnett, W. Steven, 2019. "Center-based care for infants and toddlers: The aeioTU randomized trial," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 30-43.
    3. De Walque,Damien B. C. M. & Valente,Christine, 2018. "Incentivizing school attendance in the presence of parent-child information frictions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8476, The World Bank.
    4. Emilio Gutiérrez & Rodimiro Rodrigo, 2014. "Closing the achievement gap in mathematics: evidence from a remedial program in Mexico City," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 23(1), pages 1-30, December.
    5. Macours, Karen, 2014. "Adoption and adaptation in developing country agriculture," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement (RAEStud), Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), vol. 95(1).
    6. LaFave, Daniel & Thomas, Duncan, 2017. "Height and cognition at work: Labor market productivity in a low income setting," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 52-64.
    7. Jacobus de Hoop & Jed Friedman & Eeshani Kandpal & Furio C. Rosati, 2019. "Child Schooling and Child Work in the Presence of a Partial Education Subsidy," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(2), pages 503-531.
    8. Jessica E. Taaffe & Andrew F. Longosz & David Wilson, 2017. "Themed Issue: Cash Transfers and Microfinance," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 35(5), pages 601-619, September.
    9. Guido Neidhöfer & Miguel Niño‐Zarazúa, 2019. "The Long(er)‐Term Impacts of Chile Solidario on Human Capital and Labor Income," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 45(S1), pages 209-244, December.
    10. M. Caridad Araujo & Mariano Bosch & Norbert Schady, 2017. "Can Cash Transfers Help Households Escape an Intergenerational Poverty Trap?," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Poverty Traps, pages 357-382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Deon Filmer, 2016. "Incentivizing Schooling for Learning: Evidence on the Impact of Alternative Targeting Approaches," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(2), pages 461-499.
    12. Barrera-Osorio,Felipe & Blakeslee,David S. & Hoover,Matthew & Linden,Leigh & Raju,Dhushyanth & Ryan,Stephen P., 2017. "Delivering education to the underserved through a public-private partnership program in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8177, The World Bank.
    13. Cynthia Miller & James Riccio & Nandita Verma & Stephen Nuñez & Nadine Dechausay & Edith Yang, 2015. "Testing a conditional cash transfer program in the U.S.: the effects of the family rewards program in New York City," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, December.
    14. Armando Barrientos & Juan Miguel Villa, 2014. "Economic and political inclusion of human development conditional transfer programmes in Latin America?," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 20014, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    15. Molina-Millan, Teresa & Barham, Tania & Macours, Karen & Maluccio, John A. & Stampini, Marco, 2016. "Long-term Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America: Review of the Evidence," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7891, Inter-American Development Bank.
    16. Paredes, Tatiana, 2017. "The long-term effects of cash transfers on education and labor market outcomes," MPRA Paper 88809, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 Sep 2018.
    17. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Leigh L. Linden & Juan E. Saavedra, 2019. "Medium- and Long-Term Educational Consequences of Alternative Conditional Cash Transfer Designs: Experimental Evidence from Colombia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 54-91, July.
    18. Katherine Eyal & Lindokuhle Njozela, 2016. "What Difference Does A Year Make? The Cumulative Effect of Missing Cash Transfers on Schooling Attainment," SALDRU Working Papers 186, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    19. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Leigh L. Linden & Juan E. Saavedra, 2019. "Medium- and Long-Term Educational Consequences of Alternative Conditional Cash Transfer Designs: Experimental Evidence from Colombia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 54-91, July.
    20. Mrittika Shamsuddin, 2015. "Labour Market Effects of a Female Stipend Programme in Bangladesh," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(4), pages 425-447, December.
    21. Paredes-Torres, Tatiana, 2017. "The impact of exposure to cash transfers on education and labor market outcomes," MPRA Paper 79008, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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