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Child education and work choices in the presence of a conditional cash transfer programme in rural Colombia

Author

Listed:
  • Orazio Attanasio

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • Emla Fitzsimons

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute of Education, University of London)

  • Ana Gómez

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and http://www.econometriaconsultores.com/)

  • Martha Isabel Gutiérrez

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Costas Meghir

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Yale University)

  • Alice Mesnard

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and City University London)

Abstract

The paper studies the effects of Familias en Acción, a conditional cash transfer programme implemented in rural areas in Colombia in 2002, on school enrolment and child labour. Using a quasi-experimental approach, our methodology makes use of an interesting feature of the data, which allows us to identify anticipation effects. Our results show that the programme increased school participation of 14 to 17 year old children quite substantially, by between 5 and 7 percentage points, and had lower, but non-negligible effects on enrolment of younger children of between around 1.5 and 2.5 percentage points. In terms of work, the effects are generally largest for younger children whose participation in domestic work decreased by around 10 to 12 percentage points after the programme but whose participation in income-generating work remained largely unaffected by the programme. We also find evidence of school and work time not being fully substitutable, suggesting that some, but not all, of the increased time at school may be drawn from children's leisure time.

Suggested Citation

  • Orazio Attanasio & Emla Fitzsimons & Ana Gómez & Martha Isabel Gutiérrez & Costas Meghir & Alice Mesnard, 2006. "Child education and work choices in the presence of a conditional cash transfer programme in rural Colombia," IFS Working Papers W06/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:06/13
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter Jensen & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 1997. "Child labour or school attendance? Evidence from Zambia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 407-424.
    2. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 1997. "Family size, schooling and child labor in Peru - An empirical analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 387-405.
    3. Ray, Ranjan, 2000. "Child Labor, Child Schooling, and Their Interaction with Adult Labor: Empirical Evidence for Peru and Pakistan," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 347-367, May.
    4. Laura B. Rawlings, 2005. "Evaluating the Impact of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 29-55.
    5. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Does Child Labour Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioural Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 158-175, March.
    6. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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