Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 267–290 | Cite as

Evaluating the impact of conditional cash transfer programs on fertility: the case of the Red de Protección Social in Nicaragua

  • Jessica E. Todd
  • Paul Winters
  • Guy Stecklov
Original Paper


Evaluating the impact of poverty-reduction programs on fertility is complicated given that changes in incentives to have children take time to be incorporated into decision making and evaluation periods are usually quite brief. We explore the use of birth spacing as a short-run indicator of the impact of poverty-reduction programs on fertility. The data come from a Nicaraguan conditional cash transfer program that offers incentives for poor households to invest in children’s health, nutrition, and education. We estimate a stratified Cox proportional hazard model and find that the program decreased the hazard of a birth, indicating an increase in birth spacing.


Fertility Conditional cash transfer programs Hazard model 

JEL Classification

J13 C41 H53 



The authors thank John Maluccio for access to the data as well as for providing valuable insights into the operation of the program. Eric Jensen, other participants at the 2008 Population Association of America Annual Meeting, Dean Jolliffe and two anonymous reviewers provided valuable feedback and suggestions.


The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Research Service or the US Department of Agriculture.


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Copyright information

© US Government 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economic Research ServiceUS Department of AgricultureWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsAmerican UniversityWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyHebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael

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