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Long-term financial incentives and investment in daughters : evidence from conditional cash transfers in north India


  • Sinha, Nistha
  • Yoong, Joanne


Since the early 1990s, several states in India have introduced financial incentive programs to discourage son preference among parents and encourage investment in daughters'education and health. This study evaluates one such program in the state of Haryana, Apni Beti Apna Dhan (Our Daughter, Our Wealth). Since 1994, eligible parents in Haryana have been offered a financial incentive if they give birth to a daughter. The incentive consists of an immediate cash grant and a long-term savings bond redeemable on the daughter's 18th birthday provided she is unmarried, with additional bonuses for education. Although no specific program participation data are available, we estimate early intent-to-treat program effects on mothers (sex ratio among live children, fertility preferences) and children (mother's use of antenatal care, survival, nutritional status, immunization, schooling) using statewide household survey data on fertility and child health, and constructing proxies for household and individual program eligibility. The results based on this limited data imply that Apni Beti Apna Dhan had a positive effect on the sex ratio of living children, but inconclusive effects on mothers'preferences for having female children as well as total desired fertility. The findings also show that parents increased their investment in daughters'human capital as a result of the program. Families made greater post-natal health investments in eligible girls, with some mixed evidence of improving health status in the short and medium term. Further evidence also suggests that the early cohort of eligible school-age girls was not significantly more likely to attend school; however, conditional on first attending any school, they may be more likely to continue their education.

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  • Sinha, Nistha & Yoong, Joanne, 2009. "Long-term financial incentives and investment in daughters : evidence from conditional cash transfers in north India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4860, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4860

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Schultz, T., 2002. "Why Governments Should Invest More to Educate Girls," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 207-225, February.
    2. T. Paul Schultz, 1999. "Women's Role in the Agricultural Household: Bargaining and Human Capital," Working Papers 803, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1982:72:10:1124-1128_8 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Filmer, Deon & King, Elizabeth M. & Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Gender disparity in South Asia : comparisons between and within countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1867, The World Bank.
    5. Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Human resources: Empirical modeling of household and family decisions," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 1883-2023 Elsevier.
    6. Jishnu Das, 2005. "Reassessing Conditional Cash Transfer Programs," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 57-80.
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    Cited by:

    1. Manley, James & Gitter, Seth & Slavchevska, Vanya, 2013. "How Effective are Cash Transfers at Improving Nutritional Status?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 133-155.
    2. Barrientos, Armando & Nino-Zarazua, Miguel, 2010. "Social Assistance in Developing Countries Database Version 5.0," MPRA Paper 20001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:bla:devpol:v:35:y:2017:i:5:p:621-643 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. S. Anukriti, 2013. "The Fertility-Sex Ratio Tradeoff: Unintended Consequences of Financial Incentives," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 827, Boston College Department of Economics.
    5. Monica Das Gupta & Woojin Chung & Li Shuzhuo, 2009. "Evidence for an Incipient Decline in Numbers of Missing Girls in China and India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 401-416.
    6. John Bongaarts, 2013. "The Implementation of Preferences for Male Offspring," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 39(2), pages 185-208, June.
    7. Das Gupta, Monica & Chung, Woojin & Shuzhuo, Li, 2009. "Is there an incipient turnaround in Asia's"missing girls"phenomenon ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4846, The World Bank.
    8. Kalsi, Priti, 2017. "Seeing is believing- can increasing the number of female leaders reduce sex selection in rural India?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 1-18.

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    Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Population Policies; Youth and Governance; Adolescent Health; Gender and Health;

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