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Conditional Cash Transfers in Education: Design Features, Peer and Sibling Effects Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Colombia


Felipe Barrera-Osorio


World Bank

Marianne Bertrand


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Leigh L. Linden


The University of Texas at Austin; National Bureau of Economic Research; Jameel Poverty Action Lab; Innovations for Poverty Action; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD)

Francisco Perez Calle


Ministry of Education (Columbia)

March 1, 2008

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4580

Abstract:     
This paper presents an evaluation of multiple variants of a commonly used intervention to boost education in developing countries - the conditional cash transfer - with a student level randomization that allows the authors to generate intra-family and peer-network variation. The analysis tests three treatments: a basic conditional cash transfer treatment based on school attendance, a savings treatment that postpones a bulk of the cash transfer due to good attendance to just before children have to re-enroll, and a tertiary treatment where some of the transfers are conditional on students' graduation and tertiary enrollment rather than attendance. On average, the combined incentives increase attendance, pass rates, enrollment, graduation rates, and matriculation to tertiary institutions. Changing the timing of the payments does not change attendance rates relative to the basic treatment but does significantly increase enrollment rates at both the secondary and tertiary levels. Incentives for graduation and matriculation are particularly effective, increasing attendance and enrollment at secondary and tertiary levels more than the basic treatment. There is some evidence that the subsidies can cause a reallocation of responsibilities within the household. Siblings (particularly sisters) of treated students work more and attend school less than students in families that received no treatment. In addition, indirect peer influences are relatively strong in attendance decisions with the average magnitude similar to that of the direct effect.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 57

Keywords: Tertiary Education, Access to Finance, Primary Education, Secondary Education, Economics of Education

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Date posted: June 22, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Barrera-Osorio, Felipe and Bertrand, Marianne and Linden, Leigh L. and Perez Calle, Francisco, Conditional Cash Transfers in Education: Design Features, Peer and Sibling Effects Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Colombia (March 1, 2008). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, Vol. , pp. -, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1149083

Contact Information

Felipe Barrera-Osorio
World Bank ( email )
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States
Marianne Bertrand
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-5943 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://gsbwww.uchicago.edu/fac/marianne.bertrand/vita/cv_0604.pdf
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-588-0341 (Phone)
617-876-2742 (Fax)
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Leigh L. Linden (Contact Author)
The University of Texas at Austin ( email )
Austin, TX 78712
United States
+1 (512) 475-8556 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.leighlinden.com
National Bureau of Economic Research ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.leighlinden.com
Jameel Poverty Action Lab ( email )
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.leighlinden.com
Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )
New Haven, CT
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.leighlinden.com
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) ( email )
Duke University
Durham, NC 90097
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.leighlinden.com
Francisco Perez Calle
Ministry of Education (Columbia) ( email )
Bogota
Colombia
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