MPRC Seminar Series: Carolyn Heinrich
"Stopped in the Name of the Law: Administrative Burden and Its Implications for Cash Transfer Program Effectiveness."
About the Talk
Cash transfer programs have achieved wide-ranging success in reducing poverty. Yet the empirical literature has overlooked how program rules, administrative capacity and implementation may moderate impacts or limit cash transfer program effectiveness. We examine administrative burden and its implications for access to and the impacts of cash transfers, drawing on an evaluation of the South African Child Support Grant (CSG) program. Over time, the age of eligibility for the CSG and application requirements changed and affected transaction burdens and barriers to grant receipt. Using detailed measures of grant receipt, we assess the implications of cash transfer interruptions and disconnections for outcomes that are critical in adolescence. We find that approximately 60 percent of the children in our sample experienced an interruption or disconnection in cash transfer receipt, and that both timing and “dosage” loss have significant implications for youth engagement in some of the most risky behaviors.