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Welfare rationales for conditionality of cash transfers

Dilip Mookherjee and Stefan Napel ()

Journal of Development Economics, 2021, vol. 151, issue C

Abstract: We study efficiency and distributional effects of conditioning transfers on educational investments by parents, in an OLG model with missing financial markets and heterogeneity of learning ability. Conditional cash transfers (CCT) can be designed to generate a Pareto improvement relative to either laissez faire, or unconditional transfers such as universal basic income proposals. This applies irrespective of whether the status quo involves underinvestment or overinvestment in education from a first-best perspective, or the nature and extent of parental altruism towards children. The CCT corrects a market failure of insurance and lack of consumption smoothing for parents with respect to random realizations of ability of their offspring.

Keywords: Human capital incentives; Conditional cash transfers; Universal basic income (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2021.102657

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