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Can a conditional cash transfer reduce teen fertility? The case of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia

Zachary Olson, Rachel Gardner Clark and Sarah Anne Reynolds

Journal of Health Economics, 2019, vol. 63, issue C, 128-144

Abstract: In 2008, Brazil's conditional cash transfer program expanded to cover a wider range of ages. Poor families are now given stipends for their children's school attendance up to age seventeen, whereas prior the maximum age was fifteen. Using a nationally representative household survey, we estimate the impact of this policy on teen fertility with a triple difference analysis on the fertility outcomes of treated cohorts vs. non-treated cohorts based on income eligibility, age eligibility, and timing of program implementation. We find a three percentage point drop in fertility among eligible teens within five years of program implementation. This offsets the difference in fertility between poor and non-poor teens. The impact is concentrated in urban areas, with no program effects found in rural areas. We are able to replicate these findings using National Birth Registry Data.

Keywords: Conditional cash transfer; Bolsa Familia; Brazil; Teen pregnancy; Poverty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:63:y:2019:i:c:p:128-144