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Effects on Fertility of The Brazilian Cash Transfer Program: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach

Superti, Luiz Henrique (2019): Effects on Fertility of The Brazilian Cash Transfer Program: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach.

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Abstract

The program Bolsa Família is a pillar of Brazil's welfare system. However, it is possible that the program encouraged beneficiaries to have more children. Using federal data and the eligibility rule, we propose a regression discontinuity to verify the program's effect on fertility outcomes. Problems associated with the data such as manipulation and attrition are solved by using novel procedures found in the literature. We found an effect on birth spacing but not on fertility rates. This study complements the literature in regard to cash transfers and fertility outcomes, and empirical evidence for the quantity-quality trade-off in fertility decisions.

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