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The impacts of productive conditional cash transfers on households in Nicaragua
Initial registration date
December 18, 2016
December 25, 2019 5:16 AM EST
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Paris School of Economics
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Inter-American Development Bank
Additional Trial Information
Cash transfer programs have become extremely popular in the developing world. This registration references a study which analyzed the impact of a productive cash transfer program on early childhood cognitive development, allocation of child labor within the household, and households' risk management (to weather and climate shocks) through income diversification. Additionally, researchers identified female leaders in each community and randomized if the leaders also received the treatment. In this way, the study provided an opportunity to analyze the role of social interactions in productive investments. The analysis of each outcome was done with the same sample of 106 villages in rural Nicaragua. Children in households randomly assigned to receive benefits had significantly higher levels of development nine months after the program began. The different variations of the cash transfer affect child labor of boys and girls within the household differently. Additionally, the transfer provided protection against drought shocks two years after the end of the program, and households that received a productive investment grant also had higher average consumption levels. And finally, the empirical results show that social interactions with nearby leaders positively affected human capital and productive investments as well as the future-oriented attitudes of other female beneficiaries, both during and after the intervention.
Del Carpio, Ximena et al. 2019. "The impacts of productive conditional cash transfers on households in Nicaragua ." AEA RCT Registry. December 25.
Basic CCT: Households received bimonthly transfers ($145 + $90 for each eligible child). The transfer was conditional on regular preventative health check-ups for children younger than age of 7, however in practice this was not monitored. Households with children between 7 and 15 received and an additional smaller transfer conditional on their children's school enrolment ($25).
CCT + Lump Sum Grant: In addition to the basic CCT, households in this group had received a productive investment grant - intended to encourage recipients to start a small non-agricultural business and diversify their income ($175) . This grant was conditional on the household developing a business development plan. Beneficiaries received technical assistance to develop the business plan and also participated in business-skills training workshops organized in their own communities.
CCT + Vocational Training: In addition to the basic CCT, households in this group received a scholarship that allowed one family member to attend a vocational training course. However, at the time of follow-up data collection, vocational training courses had not yet started. The programme also put in place a system of local promotoras (leaders) to enhance information flows and compliance with program requirements further. The promotoras met frequently with a small groups of (about 10) beneficiary women to talk about these requirements and the program's objectives.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Consumption, Income, Labor participation (non-agricultural), Distribution of child labor, Child health, Child development
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The Atención a Crisis program was a one-year pilot program implemented between November 2005 and December 2006 by the Ministry of the Family in Nicaragua. The program presented households with cash transfers serve as a short-run safety net and promote long run upward mobility and poverty reduction through asset creation and income diversification. Households either received basic bimonthly cash transfers, or transfers plus vocational training or a lump-sum grant.
Experimental Design Details
Community level and individual level
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
56 treatment communities, 50 control communities
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Johns Hopkins University Homewood IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
HIRB No. 2008062