Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2012

Posted: 1 May 2012

See all articles by Karen Macours

Karen Macours

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Norbert Schady

World Bank - Development Research Group

Renos Vakis

The World Bank

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Abstract

Cash transfer programs have become extremely popular in the developing world. A large literature analyzes their effects on schooling, health and nutrition, but relatively little is known about possible impacts on child development. This paper analyzes the impact of a cash transfer program on early childhood cognitive development. Children in households randomly assigned to receive benefits had significantly higher levels of development nine months after the program began. There is no fade-out of program effects two years after the program ended. Additional random variation shows that these impacts are unlikely to result from the cash component of the program alone.

Keywords: Cash transfers, Early Childhood Development, Behavioral change

JEL Classification: H23, I15, J13, O15

Suggested Citation

Macours, Karen and Schady, Norbert and Vakis, Renos, Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2049591

Karen Macours (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

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

Renos Vakis

The World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20043
United States

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