NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Medium- and Long-Term Educational Consequences of Alternative Conditional Cash Transfer Designs: Experimental Evidence from Colombia

Felipe Barrera-Osorio, Leigh L. Linden, Juan Saavedra

NBER Working Paper No. 23275
Issued in March 2017
NBER Program(s):Development Economics, Economics of Education

We show that three Colombian conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs for secondary schools improve educational outcomes eight and 12 years after random assignment relative to a control group. Forcing families to save a portion of the transfers until they make enrollment decisions for the next academic year increases on-time enrollment in secondary school, reduces dropout rates, and promotes tertiary enrollment and completion in the long-term. Traditionally structured bimonthly transfers improve on-time enrollment and high school exit exam completion rates in the medium term, but do not affect long-term tertiary outcomes. A delayed transfer that directly incentivizes tertiary enrollment promotes secondary school on-time enrollment and enrollment—only in lower-quality tertiary institutions—in the medium term but not the long term.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23275

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