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

Author

Listed:
  • Brollo, Fernanda

    () (University of Warwick)

  • Kaufmann, Katja Maria

    () (University of Mannheim)

  • La Ferrara, Eliana

    () (Bocconi University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Brollo, Fernanda & Kaufmann, Katja Maria & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2017. "Learning about the Enforcement of Conditional Welfare Programs: Evidence from Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 10654, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10654
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Angelucci, Manuela & De Giorgi, Giacomo & Rangel, Marcos A. & Rasul, Imran, 2010. "Family networks and school enrolment: Evidence from a randomized social experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 197-221, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    enforcement; conditional welfare programs; learning; Brazil;

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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