Unintended Effects of Poverty Programmes on Childbearing in Less Developed Countries: Experimental Evidence From Latin America

Population Studies, 2007

Posted: 8 Jan 2019

See all articles by Paul Winters

Paul Winters

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Guy Stecklov

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Social Sciences

Jessica Erin Todd

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Ferdinando Regalia

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Date Written: April 1, 2006

Abstract

Because conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes (which make payments to poor households, conditional on their behaviour) potentially affect both household resource levels and parental preferences for quality vs. quantity of children, they may have unintended consequences for fertility. We use panel data from experimental CCT programmes in three Latin American countries to assess the unintended impact of these programmes on childbearing. Our findings, based on difference-in-difference models, show that the programme in Honduras, which inadvertently created large incentives for childbearing, may have raised fertility by between 2 and 4 percentage points. The CCT programmes in the two other countries, Mexico and Nicaragua, did not have the same unintended incentives for childbearing, and in these countries we found no net impact on fertility. Subsequent analysis examined several potential mechanisms by which fertility in Honduras may have been raised but was not able to identify a primary mechanism with the available data.

Suggested Citation

Winters, Paul and Stecklov, Guy and Todd, Jessica Erin and Regalia, Ferdinando, Unintended Effects of Poverty Programmes on Childbearing in Less Developed Countries: Experimental Evidence From Latin America (April 1, 2006). Population Studies, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3306686

Paul Winters (Contact Author)

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) ( email )

Via Paolo di Dono
Rome, 00142
Italy

Guy Stecklov

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Social Sciences ( email )

Jerusalem
Israel

Jessica Erin Todd

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
(202) 694-5363 (Phone)

Ferdinando Regalia

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

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