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

Felipe Barrera-Osorio, Marianne Bertrand, Leigh L. Linden and Francisco Perez-Calle
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Vol. 3, No. 2 (April 2011), pp. 167-195
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41288633
Page Count: 29
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Improving the Design of Conditional Transfer Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Education Experiment in Colombia
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Abstract

Using a student level randomization, we compare three educationbased 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.

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