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Culture and Human Capital Investments: Evidence of an Unconditional Cash Transfer Program in Bolivia

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  • Yanez-Pagans, Monica

    () (World Bank)

Abstract

This paper uses a policy quasi-experiment created by the introduction of an old-age unconditional cash transfer program in Bolivia to study the intra-household income allocation process towards children's educational expenditure by ethnicity and gender of the recipient. Taking advantage of a sharp discontinuity created by the program assignment mechanism, I investigate the heterogeneity in the patterns of allocation within indigenous, multiethnic, and non-indigenous families, conditional on having one elder and one school-age child living in the household. I find that cultural factors (proxied by ethnicity) count in the decision making process of human capital investments. In particular, the allocation of resources within indigenous families follows rules closely related to patriarchal family structures (in which women have limited decision-making power) and is consistent with unitary, dictatorial, and common preferences theoretical household models. Conversely, non-indigenous families follow decision rules more closely related to collective and bargaining behavior models.

Suggested Citation

  • Yanez-Pagans, Monica, 2008. "Culture and Human Capital Investments: Evidence of an Unconditional Cash Transfer Program in Bolivia," IZA Discussion Papers 3678, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3678
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barja Daza, Gover & Monterrey Arce, Javier & Villarroel Böhrt, Sergio, 2006. "Bolivia: Impact of shocks and poverty policy on household welfare," Revista Latinoamericana de Desarrollo Economico, Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas (IISEC), Universidad Católica Boliviana, issue 6, pages 63-123, Abril.
    2. Case, Anne & Deaton, Angus, 1998. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1330-1361, September.
    3. Lee, Myoung-jae, 2005. "Micro-Econometrics for Policy, Program and Treatment Effects," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199267699.
    4. Edmonds, Eric V., 2006. "Child labor and schooling responses to anticipated income in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 386-414, December.
    5. McDonald, John F & Moffitt, Robert A, 1980. "The Uses of Tobit Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 318-321, May.
    6. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    7. Barja, Gover & Urquiola, Miguel, 2003. "Capitalization and Privatization in Bolivia: An Aproximation to an Evaluation," MPRA Paper 23049, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Vani Borooah & Sriya Iyer, 2005. "Vidya, Veda, and Varna: The influence of religion and caste on education in rural India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(8), pages 1369-1404.
    9. Psacharopoulos, George, 1992. "Ethnicity, education, and earnings in Bolivia and Guatemala," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1014, The World Bank.
    10. Skeels, Christopher L. & Vella, Francis, 1999. "A Monte Carlo investigation of the sampling behavior of conditional moment tests in Tobit and Probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 275-294, October.
    11. Leonardo Gasparini & Mariana Marchionni & Federico Gutierrez, 2004. "Simulating Income Distribution Changes in Bolivia: a Microeconometric Approach," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0012, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
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    Cited by:

    1. Werner L. Hernani-Limarino & Gary Mena, 2015. "Efectos intencionados y no intencionados de transferencias monetarias no condicionadas a los adultos mayores: El caso de la Renta Dignidad," Working Papers 03/2015, Fundación Aru.
    2. Pedro L. Rodríguez, José R. Morales, Fancisco J. Monaldi, 2012. "Direct Distribution of Oil Revenues in Venezuela: A Viable Alternative?," Working Papers 306, Center for Global Development.
    3. van den Bold, Mara & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Gillespie, Stuart, 2013. "Women’s empowerment and nutrition: An evidence review:," IFPRI discussion papers 1294, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Independent Evaluation Group, 2014. "Social Safety Nets and Gender : Learning from Impact Evaluations and World Bank Projects," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21365, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bolivia; culture; Bolivida; educational expenditure;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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