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The Heterogeneous Impact of Conditional Cash Transfers
Last registered on July 25, 2014

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The Heterogeneous Impact of Conditional Cash Transfers
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000317
Initial registration date
May 30, 2014
Last updated
July 25, 2014 2:49 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Maryland
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Wellesley College
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
1999-10-01
End date
2002-10-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The Honduran PRAF experiment randomly assigned conditional cash transfers to 40 of
70 poor municipalities, within five strata defined by a poverty proxy. Using census data, we show that eligible children were 8 percentage points more likely to enroll in school and 3 percentage points less likely to work. The effects were much larger in the two poorest strata, and statistically insignificant in the other three (the latter finding is robust to the use of a separate regression-discontinuity design). Heterogeneity confirms the importance of judicious targeting to maximize the impact and cost-effectiveness of CCTs. There is no consistent evidence of effects on ineligible children or on adult labor supply.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Galiani, Sebastian and Patrick McEwan. 2014. "The Heterogeneous Impact of Conditional Cash Transfers." AEA RCT Registry. July 25. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.317-4.0.
Former Citation
Galiani, Sebastian and Patrick McEwan. 2014. "The Heterogeneous Impact of Conditional Cash Transfers." AEA RCT Registry. July 25. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/317/history/2225.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
70 municipalities were randomly allocated into four groups:

Group 1 (G1) families received health and education transfers
Group 2 (G2) families received health and education transfers; schools and health centers received transfers
Group 3 (G3) only schools and health centers received transfers
Group 4 (G4) served as a comparison

The education transfer, in the amount of 800 Lempiras per year (about US$50), was available to each child between 6 to 12 who enrolled in and regularly attended grades 1 to 4 between the school year of February to November. A health transfer of 644 Lempiras per year (about US$40) was available to children under 3 and pregnant mothers who regularly attended health centers. Households were eligible to receive up to 3 education transfers and up to 2 health transfers.

The 70 municipalities were divided into 5 quintiles based on mean height-for-age, and 8 of 14 municipalities in each quintile were randomly selected to receive transfers.
Intervention Start Date
2000-11-02
Intervention End Date
2002-10-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The main outcomes studied are whether an eligible child for the educational transfer is:
Enrolled in school
Works outside home
Works only in home

See Table A.1 in the attached document.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Gender: The program had different impacts on the work patterns of boys and girls. Boys who received the transfer worked less outside of the home, while girls who received the transfer worked less inside the home.

Lowest income families: The impacts of the program were highest among the lowest income families. Child height-for-age was used as a poverty proxy to determine which municipalities would be eligible for the CCT program. This same proxy was used to determine the poorest households within the municipalities. Among the bottom forty percent of households, enrollment increased by 16 to 32 percent, child labor decreased by 50 to 55 percent, and work inside the home decreased by 38 to 46 percent.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Under PRAF-II, a revamp of the first Programa de AsignaciĆ³n Familiar (PRAF), eligible families could receive two kinds of cash transfers. An education transfer of 812 Lempiras/year (about US$50) was available to families with children ages 6 to 12 who were enrolled and regularly attended grades 1-4. A health transfer of 644 Lempiras/year (about US$40) was available to families with children under 3 and pregnant mothers who regularly attended health centers. In practice, school enrollment (but not attendance) was enforced as a condition of the payments, while no health benefits were suspended for failure to attend health centers.

PRAF-II also planned to give cash transfers to schools and health centers of US$4,000 and US$6,000 respectively. However, the distribution of these funds was extremely limited in practice, mostly due to legal hurdles in forming community groups authorized to administer funds.

To target the program, municipalities were ranked based on average height-for-age scores of first graders, and the bottom 70 municipalities were selected for inclusion. The municipalities were then randomly allocated into four groups (as mentioned above under intervention details). For those municipalities in the treatment group, cash transfers were made available for children aged 6-12, who had not yet completed 4th grade.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
N/A
Randomization Unit
municipalities
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
70 municipalities
Sample size: planned number of observations
120,411 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
G1: 20 municipalities with 38,435 students
G2: 20 municipalities with 39,065 students
G3: 10 municipalities with 14,154 students
G4: 20 municipalities with 28,757 students
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
October 01, 2002, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
August 04, 2001, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
70
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
120.411 Students
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
G1: 20 municipalities with 38,435 students G2: 20 municipalities with 39,065 students G3: 10 municipalities with 14,154 students G4: 20 municipalities with 28,757 students
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers
Abstract
The Honduran PRAF experiment randomly assigned conditional cash transfers to 40 of 70 poor municipalities, within five strata defined by a poverty proxy. Using census data, we show that eligible children were 8 percentage points more likely to enroll in school and 3 percentage points less likely to work. The effects were much larger in the two poorest strata, and statistically insignificant in the other three (the latter finding is robust to the use of a separate regression-discontinuity design). Heterogeneity confirms the importance of judicious targeting to maximize the impact and cost-effectiveness of CCTs. There is no consistent evidence of effects on ineligible children or on adult labor supply.
Citation
Galiani, S. and P. McEwan, Experimental heterogeneous effects in conditional cash transfers. Journal of Public Economics, 2013, Volume 103, pages 85-96