Conditional Cash Transfers and Parental Investment in Daughters: Evidence From India

Sagar Wadhwa , Brown University

Many states in India rely on conditional cash transfer schemes, to reduce discrimination against females. These programs aim to increase the perceived value of the girl child in general. In this paper, I study the impact of one such program on vaccination status and birth intervals following the eligible girls. Using the District Level Household Survey (DLHS) data, I employ a difference-in-difference strategy, with boys as the control group. I find that the probability of vaccination for the eligible girls goes up by 11 percentage points relative to boys in rural areas. However, I do not find evidence of a differential change in the birth intervals following the eligible girls. My results suggest that while parents respond to the direct incentives for such schemes, they do not seem to respond by making investments which are not directly incentivized.

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 Presented in Session 239. Flash Session: Social Policy and Child Well-being