Author: Sarah Baird, Francisco H. G. Ferreira, Berk Özler, Michael Woolcock
Baird, S., Ferreira, F. H., Ozler, B., & Woolcock, M. (2013). Relative effectiveness of conditional and unconditional cash transfers for schooling outcomes in developing countries: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 9(8).
Overview: Cash transfer programs, both conditional and unconditional, are a popular social protection tool in developing countries that aim, among other things, to improve education outcomes in developing countries. The debate over whether these programs should include conditions has been at the forefront of recent global policy discussions. This systematic review aims to complement the existing evidence on the effectiveness of these programs in improving schooling outcomes and help inform the debate surrounding the design of cash transfer programs. Our main objective was to assess the relative effectiveness of conditional and unconditional cash transfers in improving enrollment, attendance and test scores in developing countries. Our secondary objective was to understand the role of different dimensions of the cash transfer programs, particularly the role of the intensity of conditions and the effects of priming (with respect to the importance of children’s schooling) in cash transfer programs.