Education for the Poor
CERGE-EI Working Paper Series No. 542
33 Pages Posted: 17 May 2015
Date Written: May 1, 2015
This paper investigates the impact on university enrollment of an unconditional cash transfer in Georgia, designed to help households living below the subsistence level. The program, introduced in 2005, selects recipients based upon a quantitative poverty threshold, which gives us the ability to implement a regression discontinuity design. We use data on program recipients from the Social Service Agency of Georgia (SSA) and on university admissions from the National Examination Center (NAEC) to create a single dataset and compare applicants who are above and below the threshold, while controlling for the main effect of the assignment variable itself. This paper is the first rigorous evaluation of this particular program. We find that being a program recipient significantly increases a student’s likelihood of university enrollment, by 6.3%. We also find a gender specific impact on enrollment. The impact is stronger for males; being a male child of a beneficiary family results in a 13.3% greater chance of university enrollment.
Keywords: unconditional cash transfer, university enrollment, gender
JEL Classification: O15, I23, D13, J16
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