Building Dreams: the Impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Educational Aspirations in Colombia
Autores: Sandra García, Arturo Harker, Jorge Cuartas
This paper analyzes the impact of a large scale conditional cash transfer (CCT) program on the educational aspirations of parents and children in poor households. The program, in addition to providing cash subsidies to the poorest households, delivered information about the returns to education and encouraged interaction between beneficiaries, social leaders, and professionals. Using data from the quasi-experimental impact evaluation of the program and a difference-in-differences strategy, we find a positive impact for the CCT on educational aspirations for both children and parents. Particularly, parents and children were 10.9 and 20.2 percentage points more likely to aspire to attain post-secondary education due to exposition to the program, respectively. Furthermore, we find that the effect was larger for the most vulnerable households: the poorest, least educated, and most pessimistic. Based on the results, we discuss policy implications that could boost long-term educational impacts of similar programs.