Are There Diminishing Returns to Transfer Size in Conditional Cash Transfers?

22 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Deon Filmer

Deon Filmer

World Bank; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Norbert Schady

World Bank - Development Research Group

Date Written: July 1, 2009

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that conditional cash transfer programs can have large impacts on school enrollment, including in very poor countries. However, little is known about which features of program design -- including the amount of the cash that is transferred, how frequently conditions are monitored, whether non-complying households are penalized, and the identity or gender of the cash recipients -- account for the observed outcomes. This paper analyzes the impact of one feature of program design -- namely, the magnitude of the transfer. The analysis uses data from a program in Cambodia that deliberately altered the transfer amounts received by otherwise comparable households. The findings show clear evidence of diminishing marginal returns to transfer size despite the fact that even the larger transfers represented on average only 3 percent of the consumption of the median recipient households. If applicable to other settings, these results have important implications for other programs that transfer cash with the explicit aim of increasing school enrollment levels in developing countries.

Keywords: Tertiary Education, Access to Finance, Education For All, Primary Education

Suggested Citation

Filmer, Deon and Schady, Norbert, Are There Diminishing Returns to Transfer Size in Conditional Cash Transfers? (July 1, 2009). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4999, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1437951

Deon Filmer (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://go.worldbank.org/MRWPOHRQJ0

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Norbert Schady

World Bank - Development Research Group ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/nschady

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