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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 3 No. 2 (April 2011)

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Improving the Design of Conditional Transfer Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Education Experiment in Colombia

Article Citation

Barrera-Osorio, Felipe, Marianne Bertrand, Leigh L. Linden, and Francisco Perez-Calle. 2011. "Improving the Design of Conditional Transfer Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Education Experiment in Colombia." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 3(2): 167-95.

DOI: 10.1257/app.3.2.167

Abstract

Using a student level randomization, we compare three education-based conditional cash transfers designs: a standard design, a design where part of the monthly transfers are postponed until children have to re-enroll in school, and a design that lowers the reward for attendance but incentivizes graduation and tertiary enrollment. The two nonstandard designs significantly increase enrollment rates at both the secondary and tertiary levels while delivering the same attendance gains as the standard design. Postponing some of the attendance transfers to the time of re-enrollment appears particularly effective for the most at-risk children. (JEL H23, I21, I22, J13, O15)

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Authors

Barrera-Osorio, Felipe (World Bank)
Bertrand, Marianne (U Chicago)
Linden, Leigh L. (Columbia U)
Perez-Calle, Francisco (GIExponencial, Bogota)

JEL Classifications

H23: Taxation and Subsidies: Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
I21: Analysis of Education
I22: Educational Finance
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
O15: Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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