Author(s)  
Daniela Del Boca, Chiara Pronzato, Giuseppe Sorrenti

We evaluate the impact of a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program that we designed on family well-being among low-income families with young children. Although most CCTs have been implemented in low-income countries, our research is in the context of a high-income country, Italy, where the recent economic crises have worsened the conditions of families with children, especially among immigrants. Our objective is to evaluate the introduction of conditionality (attendance of courses) into a pre-existing unconditional cash transfer program. Using a randomized controlled trial, we find that CCT families search more actively for work, and they work more hours and more regularity than the cash transfer and control groups. CCT families also are able to save more money and eat healthier foods. The CCT intervention appears to be more effective than cash transfer alone in changing households' behavior in several dimensions of well-being. Our findings add to the accumulating evidence on the impact of conditional cash transfers versus unconditional ones and to the literature concerning
multidimensional incentive programs.

JEL Codes  
I10: Health: General
I20: Education and Research Institutions: General
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
I31: General Welfare
Keywords  
conditional cash transfers
poverty
use of money
Labor Supply
parenting