Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) for school attendance are used in different countries. Although there are several "first generation" impact evaluation studies assessing their impact on different outcomes, there are far fewer "second generation" studies focusing on the question of how to design CCTs more efficiently.
This study focuses on two important design issues. Firstly, how important is it to pay the transfer to the mother figure rather than the head of the household (usually male) for the distribution of household expenditures and investments in children? Secondly, if the conditionality is school attendance, what is the difference between providing equal payments in all trimesters, rather than having smaller payments earlier in the academic year and an end-of-year bonus? These questions will be studied in the context of the CCT programme in Macedonia. The government is experimenting with the two different designs by randomizing the program modalities across the 82 Macedonian municipalities. This setting allows for an experimental evaluation of the two designs in questions. Given the national scale of the experiment, the conclusions of our study can be applicable not only to Macedonia, but also to similar countries in the region. Furthermore, a rich household questionnaire was administered at baseline and is planned for two additional follow-ups, which will allow a detailed study of the mechanisms through which the different transfer modalities translate into diverse outcomes.
This project is led by the Resident Fellow, Alex Armand.
Projected end date: 31/12/2015