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Conditional cash transfers and female schooling: the impact of the female school stipend programme on public school enrolments in Punjab, Pakistan

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Instead of mean-tested Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programmes, some countries have implemented gender-targeted CCTs to explicitly address intra-household disparities in human capital investments. This study focuses on addressing the direct impact of a female school stipend programme in Punjab, Pakistan - Did the intervention increase female enrolment in public schools? To address this question, we draw upon data from the provincial school censuses 2003 and 2005. We estimate the net growth in female enrolments in grade 6-8 in stipend eligible schools. Impact evaluation analysis, including difference-and-difference (DD), triple differencing (DDD) and regression-discontinuity design (RDD), indicate a modest but statistically significant impact of the intervention. The preferred estimator derived from a combination of DDD and RDD empirical strategies suggests that the average programme impact between 2003 and 2005 was an increase of six female students per school in terms of absolute change and an increase of 9% in female enrolment in terms of relative change. A triangulation effort is also undertaken using two rounds of a nationally representative household survey before and after the intervention. Even though the surveys are not representative at the sub-provincial level, the results corroborate evidence of the impact using school census data.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The World Bank, South Asia Human Development, Washington, DC, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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