Keeping Refugee Children in School and Out of Work: Evidence from the World's Largest Humanitarian Cash Transfer Program

99 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2022

See all articles by Aysun Hızıroğlu Aygün

Aysun Hızıroğlu Aygün

Istanbul Technical University

Murat G. Kïrdar

Middle East Technical University (METU) - Department of Economics; Bogazici University - Department of Economics

Murat Koyuncu

Bogazici University - Department of Economics

Quentin Stoeffler

Istanbul Technical University

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of unconditional cash transfers for refugees on child work and schooling in the context of the world’s largest humanitarian cash transfer program in Turkey. Using household survey data and employing a regression discontinuity design, we find large effects on child labor and schooling. The program reduces the percentage of children working from 14.0 to 1.6 and the percentage of children not in school from 36.2 to 13.7. By unpacking the mechanisms at play, we show that transfers become a significant part of households’ income, alleviate extreme poverty, and reduce the use of harmful coping strategies. Investigating the reasons for children not attending school, we find that the beneficiary households become more likely to send children to school because the cash transfer addresses both the opportunity cost and direct cost of schooling—although the former channel is more important.

Keywords: refugees, cash transfers, Education, child labor, regression discontinuity design, Turkey

Suggested Citation

Hızıroğlu Aygün, Aysun and Kirdar, Murat G. and Koyuncu, Murat and Stoeffler, Quentin, Keeping Refugee Children in School and Out of Work: Evidence from the World's Largest Humanitarian Cash Transfer Program. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4024053 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4024053

Aysun Hızıroğlu Aygün

Istanbul Technical University

Ayazaga Kampusu
Fen Edebiyat Fakultesi
İstanbul
Turkey

Murat G. Kirdar (Contact Author)

Middle East Technical University (METU) - Department of Economics ( email )

Inonu Bulvari
Ankara
Turkey

Bogazici University - Department of Economics ( email )

Natuk Birkan Building
Bebek
Istanbul, 34342
Turkey

Murat Koyuncu

Bogazici University - Department of Economics ( email )

Natuk Birkan Building
Bebek
Istanbul, 34342
Turkey

Quentin Stoeffler

Istanbul Technical University ( email )

Maçka
Istanbul
Turkey

HOME PAGE: http://q.stoeffler.org

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