Daniela Del Boca, Christopher Flinn, Matthew Wiswall

In this paper we utilize a model of household investments in the cognitive development of children to explore the impact of various transfer policies on the distribution of child cognitive outcomes in target populations. We develop a cost criterion that can be used to compare the cost effectiveness of unrestricted, restricted, and conditional cash transfer systems, and find that conditional cash transfers are the most cost efficient way to attain any given gain in average child quality in a target population. Of course, this is only true if one uses efficiently designed cash transfer systems, and we are able to explore their design using our modeling framework.

JEL Codes
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
D10: Household Behavior: General
Time Allocation
Child Development
conditional and unconditional cash transfer