J. Lawrence Aber, New York University
Rethinking aid and subsidies in urban contexts, Torino, 19 October 2012

Opportunity NYC: Impact of Conditional Cash Transfers on Children's Health, Education and Development

Over the last two decades, a new form of antipoverty policy emerged from Latin America and spread to parts of Africa and South Asia as well. “Conditional Cash Transfers” (CCTs), provide cash assistance to poor families conditioned on parents making investment in their children’s human capital development. While CCTs have had considerable success in the global South (Fiszbein & Schady, 2009), they are just beginning to be developed and tested in high-income, services-rich countries of the global North.

This presentation describes the design of the CCT policy in New York City and the results of its rigorous evaluation. Consistent with prior studies, CCTs reduce poverty and increase family use of health and education resources. A novel aspect of this study was testing the impact of CCTs on adolescent time use and problem behaviors. Results show improvements in these outcomes as well. Implications of the work in New York City for other high-income, services-rich countries like Italy will be discussed.