El impacto del BDH en el gasto de bienes no deseados: Un análisis de regresión discontinua
[The impact of the Bono de Desarrollo Humano in the expenditure for undesirable goods: A regression discontinuity analysis]
Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs are gaining more and more weight in Latin America's public policy. Although there exists a wide range of literature about the impact of these programs on school matriculation, the reduction in child labour and the improvements in the health status of recipients, there exist no extensive works on the possible bad use of the benefits. This paper investigates the impact of the Ecuadorian Bono de Desarrollo Humano (BDH) program on household expenditures for cigarettes, alcohol and cell phones. With data from the Condiciones de Vida questionnaire of the year 2006 I built a quasi-experiment thanks to the assignment rule of the BDH (which is the Selben index) and use a regression discontinuity method to estimate the impact of the program on these undesirable goods. The results show that there is no impoact of the BDH on the expenditure for the three goods (measured in expenditure per capita and in the proportion of total expenditure) for households located at the limit between the second and third quintile, and therefore, presumably, also not for poorer households. This confirms the good design of the assignment rule of the program.
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