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Policy-Induced Social Interactions and Schooling Decisions

  • Matteo Bobba


  • Jeremie Gignoux

This paper considers a conditional cash transfer program targeting poor households in small rural villages and studies the effects of the geographic proximity between villages on individual enrollment decisions. Exploiting variations in the treatment status across contiguous villages generated by the randomized evaluation design, the paper finds that the additional effect stemming from the density of neighboring recipients amounts to roughly one third of the direct effect of program receipt. Importantly, these spatial externalities are concentrated among children from beneficiary house- holds. This suggests that the intervention has enhanced educational aspirations by triggering social interactions among the targeted population.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4725.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4725
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  1. 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, September.
  2. Manuela Angelucci & Giacomo De Giorgi, 2009. "Indirect Effects of an Aid Program: How Do Cash Transfers Affect Ineligibles' Consumption?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 486-508, March.
  3. Chiapa, Carlos & Garrido, José Luis & Prina, Silvia, 2012. "The effect of social programs and exposure to professionals on the educational aspirations of the poor," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 778-798.
  4. Bruno Crépon & Esther Duflo & Marc Gurgand & Roland Rathelot & Philippe Zamora, 2012. "Do Labor Market Policies have Displacement Effects? Evidence from a Clustered Randomized Experiment," Working Papers 2012-28, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  5. Parker, Susan W. & Rubalcava, Luis & Teruel, Graciela, 2008. "Evaluating Conditional Schooling and Health Programs," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  6. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
  7. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2009. "Incentives to Learn," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 437-456, August.
  8. Angelucci, Manuela & De Giorgi, Giacomo & Rangel, Marcos A. & Rasul, Imran, 2009. "Family Networks and School Enrolment: Evidence from a Randomized Social Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4497, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  10. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. de Brauw, Alan & Hoddinott, John, 2011. "Must conditional cash transfer programs be conditioned to be effective? The impact of conditioning transfers on school enrollment in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 359-370, November.
  12. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," NBER Working Papers 11577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Dubois, Pierre & Rubio-Codina, Marta, 2010. "Child Care Provision: Semiparametric Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Mexico," IDEI Working Papers 542, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Sep 2011.
  14. Filmer, Deon & Schady, Norbert, 2009. "Are there diminishing returns to transfer size in conditional cash transfers ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4999, The World Bank.
  15. Emmanuel Saez & Esther Duflo, 2003. "The role of information and social interactions in retirement plan decisions: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00141, The Field Experiments Website.
  16. Macours, Karen & Vakis, Renos, 2009. "Changing households'investments and aspirations through social interactions : evidence from a randomized transfer program," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5137, The World Bank.
  17. Filmer, Deon & Schady, Norbert, 2011. "Does more cash in conditional cash transfer programs always lead to larger impacts on school attendance?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 150-157, September.
  18. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
  19. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Frederico Finan, 2009. "Neighborhood Peer Effects in Secondary School Enrollment Decisions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 695-716, November.
  20. 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.
  21. Robert Jensen, 2010. "The (Perceived) Returns to Education and the Demand for Schooling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 515-548, May.
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