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Cash transfers, conditions, school enrollment, and child work : evidence from a randomized experiment in Ecuador

  • Schady, Norbert
  • Araujo, Maria Caridad

The impact of cash transfer programs on the accumulation of human capital is a topic of great policy importance. An attendant question is whether program effects are larger when transfers are"conditioned"on certain behaviors, such as a requirement that households enroll their children in school. This paper uses a randomized study design to analyze the impact of the Bono de Desarrollo Humano (BDH), a cash transfer program, on enrollment and child work among poor children in Ecuador. There are two main results. First, the BDH program had a large, positive impact on school enrollment, about 10 percentage points, and a large, negative impact on child work, about 17 percentage points. Second, the fact that some households believed that there was a school enrollment requirement attached to the transfers, even though such a requirement was never enforced or monitored in Ecuador, helps explain the magnitude of program effects.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3930.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3930
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