Heterogeneous Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers: Evidence from Nicaragua

49 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2008

See all articles by Ana Dammert

Ana Dammert

McMaster University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics


In the last decade, the most popular policy tool used to increase human capital in developing countries has been the conditional cash transfer program. A large literature has shown significant mean impacts on schooling, health, and child labor. This paper examines heterogeneous effects using random-assignment data from the Red de Proteccion Social in rural Nicaragua. Using interactions between the targeting criteria and the treatment indicator, estimates suggest that children located in more impoverished localities experienced a larger impact of the program on schooling in 2001, but this finding is reversed in 2002. Estimated quantile treatment effects indicate that there is considerable heterogeneity in the impacts of the program on the distribution of food expenditures, as well as total expenditures. In particular, households at the lower end of the expenditure distribution experienced a smaller increase in expenditures. This paper also presents evidence of the rank invariance assumption to help clarify the interpretation of the quantile treatment effect in the development literature context.

Keywords: Nicaragua, conditional cash transfers, quantile treatment effect

JEL Classification: O15, I38

Suggested Citation

Dammert, Ana, Heterogeneous Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers: Evidence from Nicaragua. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3653, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1250681 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1250681

Ana Dammert (Contact Author)

McMaster University ( email )

1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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