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Own and Spillover Effects of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program Targeting Young Girls: Evidence from India

By Sakshi Jain

Abstract

My dissertation evaluates both own and spillover effects of a conditional cash transfer program targeting young girls. The first chapter evaluates the effects of an ongoing conditional cash transfer (CCT) program in India targeting young girls that provides incentives in the form of deferred cash payments, with eligibility at birth and the largest payment coming at age 21. Using a difference-in-differences framework, I exploit variation in exposure to LLY by birth cohort, state, and birth order to estimate the causal impact of the program on children’s health and educational outcomes, as well as the fertility behavior of parents. I find that the program significantly increased the likelihood of registering the births of daughters. However, the sex ratio at birth does not change, suggesting no change in female mortality. I find evidence of families having children faster and in turn reducing the birth spacing. However, parents are moving toward lower eventual family sizes as I find an increase in the likelihood of parents adopting sterilization. Finally, the results using math and reading test score data show some evidence of improvement in the education outcomes of daughters. Overall, I find that a financial incentive program plays a limited role in affecting the well-being of girls. The second chapter paper evaluates the spill-over effects of an ongoing conditional cash transfer (CCT) program in India on the ineligible older siblings living in the same households as the eligible beneficiary. Using difference-in-differences framework, I exploit variation in exposure to LLY by birth cohort, state, and birth order to estimate the spillover effect of the program on the ineligible older sibling's educational outcomes. I find that the program does not have any effect on the schooling outcomes of the ineligible siblings. I also find negative effect on the math and reading skills of the ineligible siblings of treated children relative to the children in families that received no treatment. The evidence suggests that this effect operates through the reallocation of resources away from the ineligible sibling towards the eligible sibling.Economics, Department o

Topics: Conditional Cash Transfers, Sex Ratio, Fertility, Schooling, India
Year: 2018
OAI identifier: oai:uh-ir.tdl.org:10657/3149

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