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Finding the Benefits: Estimating the Impact of the South African Child Support Grant

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  • Marisa Coetzee

    () (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

Abstract

The paper estimates the impact of the South African Child Support Grant (CSG) on child health, nutrition and education. Data from the 2008 South African National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) are used. Two non-experimental treatment evaluation techniques, both relying on propensity scores, are applied to six different outcome variables. Using propensity score matching with a binary outcome variable, no convincing evidence of improvements on any of the outcome variables is found. A second technique is therefore also applied, using a generalised form of the propensity scores. This follows the approach of Hirano and Imbens (2004) and Agüero et al. (2009). The generalised approach estimates a positive treatment effect for children’s height-for-age and progress through the school system. Although these estimates do provide some evidence of the positive effect of the Child Support Grant on the lives of children, the estimates are small and do not provide clear evidence that the transfers received by caregivers are spent mainly on improving the well-being of beneficiary children. Some potential and plausible explanations for this result are discussed in the paper. Nevertheless, the findings seem to suggest that some of the cash transferred through the Child Support Grant appears to be spent on improving the well-being of children.

Suggested Citation

  • Marisa Coetzee, 2011. "Finding the Benefits: Estimating the Impact of the South African Child Support Grant," Working Papers 16/2011, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers144
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chloé van Biljon, 2017. "The effect of old age pensions on child deprivation: revisiting the role of gender," Working Papers 13/2017, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    2. Waidler, Jennifer, 2016. "On the fungibility of public and private transfers: A mental accounting approach," MERIT Working Papers 060, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. von Fintel, Dieter & Pienaar, Louw, 2016. "Small-Scale Farming and Food Security: The Enabling Role of Cash Transfers in South Africa's Former Homelands," IZA Discussion Papers 10377, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Ronelle Burger & Servaas Berg & Sarel Walt & Derek Yu, 2017. "The Long Walk: Considering the Enduring Spatial and Racial Dimensions of Deprivation Two Decades After the Fall of Apartheid," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 1101-1123, February.
    5. Olivier Basdevant & Dalmacio Benicio & Yorbol Yakhshilikov, 2012. "Inequalities and Growth in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Region," IMF Working Papers 12/290, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Lara Cockx & Nathalie Francken, 2016. "Evolution and Impact of EU Aid for Food and Nutrition Security: A Review," FOODSECURE Working papers 47, LEI Wageningen UR.
    7. d'Agostino, Giorgio & Scarlato, Margherita & Napolitano, Silvia, 2016. "Do Cash Transfers Promote Food Security? The Case of the South African Child Support Grant," MPRA Paper 69177, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1433-z is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conditional cash transfers; child health and nutrition; continuous treatment estimator; South Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

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