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Unconditional government social cash transfer in Africa does not increase fertility


Among policymakers, a common perception surrounding the effects of cash transfer programmes, particularly unconditional programmes targeted to families with children, is that they induce increased fertility. We evaluate the Zambian Child Grant Programme, a government unconditional cash transfer targeted to families with a child under the age of 5 and examine impacts on fertility and household composition. The evaluation was a cluster randomized control trial, with data collected over 4 years from 2010 to 2014. Our results indicate that there are no programme impacts on overall fertility. Our results contribute to a small evidence base demonstrating that there are no unintended incentives related to fertility due to cash transfers.


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Publication date: 2016

Author(s): Tia Palermo, Sudhanshu Handa, Amber Peterman, Leah Prencipe, David Seidenfeld

Journal: Journal of Population Economics

Volume: 29

No.: 4

Page(S): 1083-1111

Language: English

Peer reviewed: YES

Related Innocenti Project(s):

Social protection and cash transfers