Learning About the Enforcement of Conditional Welfare Programs: Evidence from Brazil

59 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2017

See all articles by Fernanda Brollo

Fernanda Brollo

University of Warwick - Department of Economics

Katja Maria Kaufmann

Bocconi University - Department of Economics; Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Eliana La Ferrara

Bocconi University - Department of Economics

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Abstract

We study the implementation of Bolsa Familia, a program that conditions cash transfers to poor families on children's school attendance. Using unique administrative data, we analyze how beneficiaries respond to the enforcement of conditionality. Making use of random variation in the day on which punishments are received, we find that school attendance increases after families are punished for past noncompliance. Families also respond to penalties experienced by peers: a child's attendance increases if her own classmates, but also her siblings' classmates (in other grades or schools), experience enforcement. As the severity of penalties increases with repeated noncompliance, households' response is larger when peers receive a penalty that the family has not (yet) received. We thus find evidence of spillover effects and learning about enforcement.

Keywords: enforcement, conditional welfare programs, learning, Brazil

JEL Classification: I25, I38, O15

Suggested Citation

Brollo, Fernanda and Kaufmann, Katja Maria and Kaufmann, Katja Maria and La Ferrara, Eliana, Learning About the Enforcement of Conditional Welfare Programs: Evidence from Brazil. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10654, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2949070 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2949070

Fernanda Brollo (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Katja Maria Kaufmann

Bocconi University - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy

Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Eliana La Ferrara

Bocconi University - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy

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