Medium- and Long-Term Educational Consequences of Alternative Conditional Cash Transfer Designs: Experimental Evidence from Colombia
45 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2017 Last revised: 5 Feb 2021
Date Written: March 2017
We show that three Colombian conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs for secondary schools improve educational outcomes eight and 12 years after random assignment relative to a control group. Forcing families to save a portion of the transfers until they make enrollment decisions for the next academic year increases on-time enrollment in secondary school, reduces dropout rates, and promotes tertiary enrollment and completion in the long-term. Traditionally structured bimonthly transfers improve on-time enrollment and high school exit exam completion rates in the medium term, but do not affect long-term tertiary outcomes. A delayed transfer that directly incentivizes tertiary enrollment promotes secondary school on-time enrollment and enrollment—only in lower-quality tertiary institutions—in the medium term but not the long term.
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