Ex-ante Evaluation of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: The Case of Bolsa Escola

32 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2003  

Francois Bourguignon

Paris School of Economics

Francisco H. G. Ferreira

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Phillippe G. Leite

World Bank - Research Department

Date Written: October 2002

Abstract

Cash transfers targeted to poor people, but conditional on some behavior on their part - such as school attendance or regular visits to health care facilities - are being adopted in a growing number of developing countries. Even where ex-post impact evaluations have been conducted, a number of policy-relevant counterfactual questions have remained unanswered. These are questions about the potential impact of changes in program design - such as benefit levels or the choice of the means - test - on both the current welfare and the behavioral response of household members. Bourguignon, Ferreira, and Leite propose a method to simulate the effects of those alternative program designs on welfare and behavior based on microeconometrically estimated models of household behavior. In an application to Brazil's recently introduced federal Bolsa Escola program, the authors find a surprisingly strong effect of the conditionality on school attendance, but a muted impact of the transfers on the reduction of poverty and inequality levels.

This paper - a product of the Poverty Team, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to understand the impact of policies on the distribution of incomes.

JEL Classification: I38, J13, J22, J24

Suggested Citation

Bourguignon, Francois and Ferreira, Francisco H. G. and Leite, Phillippe G., Ex-ante Evaluation of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: The Case of Bolsa Escola (October 2002). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2916; William Davidson Institute Working Paper No. 516. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=358407

Francois Bourguignon

Paris School of Economics ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Francisco H. G. Ferreira (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-4382 (Phone)

Phillippe G. Leite

World Bank - Research Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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