Published by: Pablo Ibarrarán
Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) were a major social policy innovation in the mid/late 1990s. Instead of providing generalized subsidies, using price controls, and/or directly distributing food as means to help the poor (instruments that are inefficient, distort markets and in general are regressive), governments began to transfer cash directly to the poorest families, conditioning such transfers on families sending their kids to school and taking them for routine checkups to health facilities.
While the evaluations show that the programs had the intended effects (i.e. families increased their consumption — with no evidence of negative labor market impacts on adults–, and the use of health and education services also increased) CCTs have been under scrutiny from several perspectives.
Some of the most common criticisms to CCTs are:
- The impacts on “final” health and education outcomes are mixed (Fizsbein and Schady, 2009).
- Even with CCTs there is a large enrollment gap in secondary education (which is key for the likelihood of getting a good job).
- CCTs don’t work as well in urban areas (Bouillon and Tejerina, 2007).
- The impact on income generating capacity of adults (by easing liquidity constraints for productive investments, which would be a positive externality as it was not part of the core objectives of CCTs), although promising at first (Gertler, Martinez and Rubio, 2006) , has been mixed (Maluccio, 2007).
- When children from beneficiary households enter the labor market, they don’t get good jobs (Samuel Freije y Eduardo Rodriguez, 2008).
- They don’t do enough to eliminate gender disparities.
To continue reading this blog, go to http://blogs.iadb.org/desarrolloefectivo_en/2013/04/24/ccts-not-the-silver-bullet-but-with-long-lasting-positive-effects/?utm_