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Are there diminishing returns to transfer size in conditional cash transfers ?

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  • Filmer, Deon
  • Schady, Norbert

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that conditional cash transfer programs can have large impacts on school enrollment, including in very poor countries. However, little is known about which features of program design -- including the amount of the cash that is transferred, how frequently conditions are monitored, whether non-complying households are penalized, and the identity or gender of the cash recipients -- account for the observed outcomes. This paper analyzes the impact of one feature of program design -- namely, the magnitude of the transfer. The analysis uses data from a program in Cambodia that deliberately altered the transfer amounts received by otherwise comparable households. The findings show clear evidence of diminishing marginal returns to transfer size despite the fact that even the larger transfers represented on average only 3 percent of the consumption of the median recipient households. If applicable to other settings, these results have important implications for other programs that transfer cash with the explicit aim of increasing school enrollment levels in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Filmer, Deon & Schady, Norbert, 2009. "Are there diminishing returns to transfer size in conditional cash transfers ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4999, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4999
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Erlend Berg & Maitreesh Ghatak & R Manjula & Sanchari Roy, 2013. "Motivating Knowledge Agents: Can Incentive Pay Overcome Social Distance?," Working Papers id:5315, eSocialSciences.
    2. Matteo Bobba & Jérémie Gignoux, 2011. "Policy-Induced Social Interactions and Schooling Decisions," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 3950, Inter-American Development Bank.
    3. Amanda Lenhardt & Ella Page & Moizza Binat Sarwar & Andrew Shepherd, 2017. "Anti-discrimination measures in education: A comparative policy analysis," WIDER Working Paper Series 078, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. repec:cep:stieop:42 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:498-517 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Fan Li & Yingquan Song & Hongmei Yi & Jianguo Wei & Linxiu Zhang & Yaojiang Shi & James Chu & Natalie Johnson & Prashant Loyalka & Scott Rozelle, 2017. "The impact of conditional cash transfers on the matriculation of junior high school students into rural China’s high schools," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 41-60, January.
    7. Miguel Nino-Zarazua, 2011. "Mexico’s Progresa-Oportunidades and the emergence of Social Assistance in Latin America," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 14211, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    8. Martin Persson, U. & Alpízar, Francisco, 2013. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Payments for Environmental Services—A Conceptual Framework for Explaining and Judging Differences in Outcomes," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 124-137.
    9. World Bank, 2013. "Republic of Madagascar : Mitigating the Impact of the Crisis on Education," World Bank Other Operational Studies 17012, The World Bank.
    10. Barrientos, Armando & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2011. "Social transfers and chronic poverty: objectives, design, reach and impact," MPRA Paper 30465, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tertiary Education; Access to Finance; Education For All; Primary Education;

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