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Cash Transfers, Conditions, and School enrollment in Ecuador

Norbert Schady and M. Caridad Araujo ()

ECONOMIA JOURNAL, 2008, vol. Volume 8 Number 2, issue Spring 2008, 43-77

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: Cash transfers; Bono de desarrollo humano; school enrollment; child work; Ecuador (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H52 H53 I38 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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