Conditional cash transfers and female schooling : the impact of the female school stipend program on public school enrollments in Punjab, Pakistan
Instead of mean-tested conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs, some countries have implemented gender-targeted CCTs to explicitly address intra-household disparities in human capital investments. This study focuses on addressing the direct impact of a female school stipend program in Punjab, Pakistan: Did the intervention increase female enrollment in public schools? To address this question, the authors draw on data from the provincial school censuses of 2003 and 2005. They estimate the net growth in female enrollments in grades 6-8 in stipend eligible schools. Impact evaluation analysis, including difference-and-difference (DD), triple differencing (DDD), and regression-discontinuity design (RDD) indicate a modest but statistically significant impact of the intervention. The preferred estimator derived from a combination of DDD and RDD empirical strategies suggests that the average program impact between 2003 and 2005 was an increase of six female students per school in terms of absolute change and an increase of 9 percent in female enrollment in terms of relative change. A triangulation effort is also undertaken using two rounds of a nationally representative household survey before and after the intervention. Even though the surveys are not representative at the subprovincial level, the results corroborate evidence of the impact using school census data.
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