Can Conditional Cash Transfer Programs Be Implemented On A large Scale In India?

Open Access
Author:
Arakali, Shuvya T
Area of Honors:
Economics
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Bee Yan Roberts, Thesis Supervisor
  • Bee Yan Roberts, Honors Advisor
  • James R. Tybout, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • conditional cash transfer
  • CCT
  • India
  • development economics
Abstract:
A Conditional Cash Transfer Program (CCT) is a type of social safety net program that originated in Latin America during the early 1990’s. These programs are unique in that they target the two major drivers of structural poverty: education and health. CCT schemes utilize an incentive based approach to change the behavior of those households living below the poverty line. CCT programs involve a cash transfer to the beneficiaries only if they send their children to school and routinely visit health clinics. The rationale behind these programs is that investing in human capital will not only relieve the short-term symptoms of poverty, but also stop the cycle of inter-generational poverty. These programs’ successes in Latin America can be broken down into a list of criteria. These criteria are necessary for any CCT and anti-poverty program to be successful. The criteria are then applied to the anti-poverty programs in India to see if a large-scale implementation of CCT programs would work in India. The bottom line surrounding the analysis of India’s anti-poverty programs using the CCT criteria is that a complicated bureaucracy, corruption, and lack of transparency drives the majority of the inefficiencies seen in India. If corrected for, CCT programs can target the major contributors to poverty in India: poor health, education, and social biases. inter-generational poverty. These programs’ successes in Latin America can be broken down into a list of criteria. These criteria are necessary for any CCT and anti-poverty program to be successful. The criteria are then applied to the anti-poverty programs in India to see if a large- scale implementation of CCT programs would work in India. The bottom line surrounding the analysis of India’s anti-poverty programs using the CCT criteria is that a complicated bureaucracy, corruption, and lack of transparency drives the majority of the inefficiencies seen in India. If corrected for, CCT programs can target the major contributors to poverty in India: poor health, education, and social biases.