Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in Conditional Cash Transfer Programmes: Assessing the Impact of Progresa on Agricultural Households
Journal of Development Effectivness, 2010
Posted: 8 Jan 2019
Date Written: Sep 24, 2010
The success of Mexico's conditional cash transfer programme (Progresa) has sparked a wave of similar programmes across the developing world, and the highly successful social experiment in Progresa has created demand for experimental evaluations among development partners, multilateral agencies and governments as a way to assess development policy. But existing evaluations do not consider the possibility of heterogeneous treatment effects due to either multiple programme participation or the special circumstances of agricultural households when production and consumption decisions are not separable. This article shows that the impact of Progresa on health check-ups is significantly smaller among participants of Procampo, a programme that is linked to agricultural production. This differential impact may be due to Procampo conditionality or the fact that the shadow price of time is different between these households and other Progresa beneficiaries. The authors' conclusion is that conditional cash transfer programmes must consider multiple programme participation and non-separable agricultural households when designing programmes and assessing impacts.
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