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Educational Impacts and Cost-Effectiveness of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs in Developing Countries: A Meta-Analysis

Sandra García and Juan Saavedra

No 23594, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We meta-analyze for impact and cost-effectiveness 94 studies from 47 conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs in low- and middle-income countries worldwide, focusing on educational outcomes that include enrollment, attendance, dropout and school completion. To conceptually guide and interpret the empirical findings of our meta-analysis, we present a simple economic framework of household decision-making that generates predictions, all else constant, for the association between certain program context and design characteristics, and impact estimates. We also present a simple model for the analysis of program costs, using it to compute cost-effectiveness estimates for a subsample of CCT programs. For all schooling outcomes, we find strong support for heterogeneity in impact, transfer-effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness estimates. Our meta-analytic results of impact and transfer-effectiveness estimates provide support to some – but not all – of the predictions from the household decision-making model.

JEL-codes: I25 I28 O15 O38 O57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-lam
Date: 2017-07
Note: DEV ED
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Published as Sandra García & Juan E. Saavedra, 2017. "Educational Impacts and Cost-Effectiveness of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs in Developing Countries: A Meta-Analysis," Review of Educational Research, vol 87(5), pages 921-965.

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