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Learning about the Enforcement of Conditional Welfare Programs: Evidence from Brazil

Listed author(s):
  • Brollo, Fernanda

    ()

    (University of Warwick)

  • Kaufmann, Katja Maria

    ()

    (University of Mannheim)

  • La Ferrara, Eliana

    ()

    (Bocconi University)

Registered author(s):

    We study the implementation of Bolsa Familia, a program that conditions cash transfers to poor families on children's school attendance. Using unique administrative data, we analyze how beneficiaries respond to the enforcement of conditionality. Making use of random variation in the day on which punishments are received, we find that school attendance increases after families are punished for past noncompliance. Families also respond to penalties experienced by peers: a child's attendance increases if her own classmates, but also her siblings' classmates (in other grades or schools), experience enforcement. As the severity of penalties increases with repeated noncompliance, households' response is larger when peers receive a penalty that the family has not (yet) received. We thus find evidence of spillover effects and learning about enforcement.

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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10654.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10654.

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    Length: 59 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2017
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10654
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    1. Najy Benhassine & Florencia Devoto & Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Victor Pouliquen, 2015. "Turning a Shove into a Nudge? A "Labeled Cash Transfer" for Education," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 86-125, August.
    2. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "Using Differences in Knowledge across Neighborhoods to Uncover the Impacts of the EITC on Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2683-2721, December.
    3. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Petra E. Todd, 2006. "Assessing the Impact of a School Subsidy Program in Mexico: Using a Social Experiment to Validate a Dynamic Behavioral Model of Child Schooling and Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1384-1417, December.
    4. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Marianne Bertrand & Leigh L. Linden & Francisco Perez-Calle, 2011. "Improving the Design of Conditional Transfer Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Education Experiment in Colombia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 167-195, April.
    5. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster, 2008. "Putting a Band-Aid on a Corpse: Incentives for Nurses in the Indian Public Health Care System," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 487-500, 04-05.
    6. Leonardo Bursztyn & Lucas C. Coffman, 2012. "The Schooling Decision: Family Preferences, Intergenerational Conflict, and Moral Hazard in the Brazilian Favelas," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(3), pages 359-397.
    7. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith & Mark C. Berger & Brett J. Noel, 2003. "Is the Threat of Reemployment Services More Effective Than the Services Themselves? Evidence from Random Assignment in the UI System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1313-1327, September.
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