The impact of conditional cash transfer programs on household work decisions in Brazil

Andrea R. Ferro, Ana Lúcia Kassouf, Deborah Levison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs have become widespread in poor countries as a way to alleviate current poverty and provide investments in human capital that improve families' living conditions in the long-term. The first goal is accomplished when poor families receive money from governments on a monthly basis. The second goal is reached by conditioning the cash transfers on certain behaviors such as children's regular school attendance. However, these programs may also have impacts on time use decisions within beneficiary households, particularly with respect to time spent working. Using data from 2003, we measure the impact of the Brazilian Bolsa Escola CCT program on children's and parents' labor status using the econometric framework of policy evaluation. Probit regressions and propensity score-matching methods show that this program reduces the probability of work for children aged 6-15, increases school enrollment, and increases mother and father participation in the labor force.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-218
Number of pages26
JournalResearch in Labor Economics
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

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