Opportunidades: Mexico’s Conditional Cash transfer program

Stecklov, Guy, et al. “Do Conditional Cash Transfers Influence Migration? A Study using Experimental Data from the Mexican PROGRESA Program.” Demography 42.4 (2005): 769,769-790. Sociological Abstracts. PROQUESTMS. 24 Oct. 2011 <http://search.proquest.com/docview/60048008?accountid=12261>.

“Analysis based on the data collected before and after {PROGRESA’s} onset show that conditional transfers reduce U.S. migration but not domestic migration.” “Our results suggest that conditional transfers may be helpful in managing rural out-migration, particularly to the United States.”

Traditionally been very difficult to establish causation for migration.  Because of the experimental design of the PROGRESA program, this study helps overcome this hurdle.  Migration is influenced by social factors (social networks) and economic factors.  Typically, as migration flows increase from a community and migration networks are strengthened, improved economic conditions for a community have less impact on lessening migration. (p774) “Thus, the manner in which networks moderate the effect of PROGRESA on migration is ambiguos”

PROGRESA started in 1997 as a program to address rural poverty.  Cash transfers to mothers for food and for education are linked to specific requirements such as health check-ups, and school attendance. The program name changed to OPORTUNIDADES in 2001 under the Fox administration, and expanded into urban areas.  B7 2002 the budget was $1.9 billion US. (p771)

Study finds that migration rose over time (from 1997-1999) for both PROGRESA and control households, but less for PROGRESA households, especially for migration to the U.S. (p 777)

Conditional Cash Transfers and Agricultural Production: Lessons from the Oportunidades Experience in Mexico, Journal of development studies [0022-0388] Todd yr:2010 vol:46 iss:1 pg:39 -67  accessed at http://www.tandfonline.com.libproxy.newschool.edu/doi/full/10.1080/00220380903197945

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