How do ex ante simulations compare with ex post evaluations ? evidence from the impact of conditional cash transfer programs
This paper compares the ex ante simulation of the impacts of conditional cash transfer programs against the ex post estimates of impacts obtained from experimental evaluations. Using data on program-eligible households in treatment areas from the same baseline surveys that are used for experimental evaluations of conditional cash transfer programs in Mexico and Ecuador, the authors use a micro-simulation model to derive ex ante estimates of the impact of the programs on enrollment rates and poverty. The estimates reveal that ex ante predictions of certain impacts of conditional cash transfer programs match up well against the benchmark estimates of ex post experimental studies. The findings seem to support the use of this model to assess the potential impact and cost efficiency of a conditional cash transfer program ex ante, in order to inform decisions about how the program would be designed.
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