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Wealthy, healthy, and wise: does money compensate for being born into difficult conditions?

Listed author(s):
  • James Manley


    (Department of Economics, Towson University)

  • Lia Fernald

    (School of Public Health, UC Berkeley)

  • Paul Gertler

    (Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley)

Recent studies have linked transfers from Mexican conditional cash transfer program Oportunidades (formerly PROGRESA) to improvements in child development (Fernald, Gertler, and Neufeld 2008, 2009) but this work has been crit icized as failing to account for endogeneity of the transfers. We create an exogenous instrume nt for the amount of tran sfers and use it to test program and transfer effects. A pplying the new instrument confirms that improvements in child development are more linked to the transfers themselves than to other portions of the program, which involve medical checkups as well as educational sessions for mothers. We also find evidence that the program facilitates catch-up growth, a phenomenon of disputed importance in the health literature.

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File Function: First version, 2012
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Paper provided by Towson University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-01.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision: Feb 2012
Handle: RePEc:tow:wpaper:2012-01
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Towson, Maryland 21252-0001

Phone: 410-704-2959
Fax: 410-704-3424
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