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Wealthy, healthy, and wise: does money compensate for being born into difficult conditions?

James Manley (), Lia Fernald and Paul Gertler ()
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Lia Fernald: School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

No 2012-01, Working Papers from Towson University, Department of Economics

Abstract: Recent studies have linked transfers from Mexican conditional cash transfer program Oportunidades (formerly PROGRESA) to improvements in child development (Fernald, Gertler, and Neufeld 2008, 2009) but this work has been crit icized as failing to account for endogeneity of the transfers. We create an exogenous instrume nt for the amount of tran sfers and use it to test program and transfer effects. A pplying the new instrument confirms that improvements in child development are more linked to the transfers themselves than to other portions of the program, which involve medical checkups as well as educational sessions for mothers. We also find evidence that the program facilitates catch-up growth, a phenomenon of disputed importance in the health literature.

Keywords: PROGRESA; Oportunidades; conditional cas h transfers; instrument al variables; child development; child health; Mexico. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 O12 I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
Date: 2012-02, Revised 2012-02
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Journal Article: Wealthy, healthy and wise: does money compensate for being born into difficult conditions? (2015) Downloads
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