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Assessing the Long-term Effects of Conditional Cash Transfers on Human Capital: Evidence from Colombia

Author

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  • Baez, Javier E.

    () (World Bank)

  • Camacho, Adriana

    () (Universidad de los Andes)

Abstract

Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) are programs under which poor families get a stipend provided they keep their children in school and take them for health checks. While there is significant evidence showing that they have positive impacts on school participation, little is known about their long-term impacts on human capital. In this paper we investigate whether cohorts of children from poor households that benefited up to nine years from Familias en Acción, a CCT in Colombia, attained more school and performed better in academic tests at the end of high school. Identification of program impacts is derived from two different strategies using matching techniques with household surveys, and regression discontinuity design using census of the poor and administrative records of the program. We show that, on average, participant children are 4 to 8 percentage points more likely than nonparticipant children to finish high school, particularly girls and beneficiaries in rural areas. Regarding long-term impact on tests scores, the analysis shows that program recipients who graduate from high school seem to perform at the same level as equally poor non-recipient graduates, even after correcting for possible selection bias when low-performing students enter school in the treatment group. Even though the positive impacts on high school graduation may improve the employment and earning prospects of participants, the lack of positive effects on the test scores raises the need to further explore policy actions to couple CCT's objective of increasing human capital with enhanced learning.

Suggested Citation

  • Baez, Javier E. & Camacho, Adriana, 2011. "Assessing the Long-term Effects of Conditional Cash Transfers on Human Capital: Evidence from Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 5751, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5751
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Abramovsky & Orazio Attanasio & Kai Barron & Pedro Carneiro & George Stoye, 2016. "Challenges to Promoting Social Inclusion of the Extreme Poor: Evidence from a Large-Scale Experiment in Colombia," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 89-141, April.
    2. Guido Neidhöfer & Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, 2017. "The long(er)-term impacts of Chile Solidario on human capital and labour income," WIDER Working Paper Series 201, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Teresa Molina-Millan & Tania Barham & Karen Macours & John A. Maluccio & Marco Stampini, 2016. "Long-term Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America: Review of the Evidence," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7891, Inter-American Development Bank.
    4. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Dario Maldonado & Catherine Rodríguez, 2012. "Calidad de la educación básica y media en Colombia: diagnóstico y propuestas," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 010078, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    5. Armando Barrientos & Juan Miguel Villa, 2014. "Economic and political inclusion of human development conditional transfer programmes in Latin America?," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 20014, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    6. Tania Barham & Karen Macours & John A. Maluccio, 2013. "More Schooling and More Learning?: Effects of a Three-Year Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Nicaragua after 10 Years," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4584, Inter-American Development Bank.
    7. Katherine Eyal & Lindokuhle Njozela, 2016. "What Difference Does A Year Make? The Cumulative Effect of Missing Cash Transfers on Schooling Attainment," SALDRU Working Papers 186, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    8. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:3:p:544-562 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Elizabeth Washbrook & Paul Gregg & Carol Propper, 2014. "A decomposition analysis of the relationship between parental income and multiple child outcomes," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 177(4), pages 757-782, October.
    10. Monica Ospina Londoño & Fabiola Saavedra-Caballero, 2013. "Social Assistance and Informality: Examining the link in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 010933, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
    11. 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, September.
    12. Teresa Molina-Millan & Tania Barham & Karen Macours & John A. Maluccio & Marco Stampini, 2016. "Long-term Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America: Review of the Evidence," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 96136, Inter-American Development Bank.
    13. Andrews, Colin & Kryeziu, Adea & Seo, Dahye, 2014. "World Bank support for social safety nets 2007-2013 : a review of financing, knowledge services, and results," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 90187, The World Bank.
    14. Attanasio, Orazio & Polania-Reyes, Sandra & Pellerano, Luca, 2015. "Building social capital: Conditional cash transfers and cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 22-39.
    15. Bertha Briceño & Laura Cuesta & Orazio Attanasio, 2011. "Behind the scenes: experience managing and conducting large impact evaluations in Colombia," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(4), pages 470-501, December.
    16. Virgi Sari, 2018. "Educational assistance and education quality in Indonesia: The role of decentralization," WIDER Working Paper Series 037, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    17. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Leigh L. Linden & Juan Saavedra, 2017. "Medium- and Long-Term Educational Consequences of Alternative Conditional Cash Transfer Designs: Experimental Evidence from Colombia," NBER Working Papers 23275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conditional Cash Transfers; school completion; academic achievement; learning outcomes;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • 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

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