The Impact of Conditional Cash Transfers on Household Composition, Fertility, and Migration in Central America

Paul C. Winters, American University
Guy Stecklov, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jessica Todd, American University

Providing conditional cash transfers (CCTs) to households has the potential to influence the composition of households by altering the economic incentives faced by households. Altering the composition of households may in turn alter the manner in which the transfers are used. We explore this possibility using experimental evaluation data collected from the PRAF program in Honduras and the RPS program in Nicaragua. Our results indicate that the programs have had an impact on household structure and composition, but that this impact varies by country. Our analysis clearly indicates that CCT program design and context can influence the structure and composition of households. Therefore, CCT programs must be designed carefully to ensure that unintended and possibly undesirable outcomes do not occur.

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Presented in Session 6: Evaluating Social Development Programs in Low-Income Countries: New Initiatives