More Schooling and More Learning? Effects of a Three-Year Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Nicaragua after 10 Years

Tania Barham, University of Colorado at Boulder
Karen Macours, Paris School of Economics
John A. Maluccio, Middlebury College

This paper uses the randomized phase-in of the RPS CCT program in Nicaragua to estimate the long-term effects on educational attainment and learning for boys, measured 10 years after the start of the program. We focus on a cohort of boys aged 9–12 years at the start of the program in 2000 who, due to the program’s eligibility criteria and prior school dropout patterns, were likely to have benefited more in the group of localities that were randomly selected to receive the program first. We find that a half grade increase in schooling for boys was sustained after the end of the program and into early adulthood. Results indicate gains in both math and language achievement scores, an approximately one-quarter standard deviation increase in learning outcomes for the now young men. We will also examine the labor market outcomes in future versions of the paper.

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Presented in Session 178: Safety Net Programs and Their Impacts on Human Capital Investments and Learning Outcomes