Conditional Cash Transfers, Adult Work Incentives, and Poverty

38 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Emmanuel Skoufias

Emmanuel Skoufias

World Bank

Vincenzo di Maro

University College London - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 1, 2006


Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs aim to alleviate poverty through monetary and in-kind benefits, as well as reduce future levels of poverty by encouraging investments in education, health, and nutrition. The success of CCT programs at reducing poverty depends on whether, and the extent to which, cash transfers affect adult work incentives. The authors examine whether the PROGRESA program of Mexico affects adult participation in the labor market and overall adult leisure time, and they link these effects to the impact of the program on poverty. Using the experimental design of PROGRESA's evaluation sample, the authors find that the program does not have any significant effect on adult labor force participation and leisure time. Their findings on adult work incentives are reinforced further by the result that PROGRESA leads to a substantial reduction in poverty. The poverty reduction effects are stronger for the poverty gap and severity of poverty measures.

Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction, Population Policies, Poverty Monitoring & Analysis, Health Monitoring & Evaluation

Suggested Citation

Skoufias, Emmanuel and di Maro, Vincenzo, Conditional Cash Transfers, Adult Work Incentives, and Poverty (August 1, 2006). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3973, Available at SSRN:

Emmanuel Skoufias (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Vincenzo Di Maro

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
00442076795577 (Phone)
00442076192775 (Fax)


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