Do Conditional Cash Transfers Reduce Teen Pregnancy? Evidence from Brazil's Bolsa Familia

Sarah A. Reynolds, University of California, Berkeley
Rachel Gardner, University of California, Berkeley

In 2008, Brazil's conditional cash transfer program expanded to cover a wider range of ages. Poor families are now given stipends for their children's school attendance up to age seventeen; prior the maximum age was fifteen. We estimate the impact of this policy on teen fertility with a difference in difference analysis on the outcomes of treated cohorts to non-treated cohorts, limiting our sample to those with family income levels eligible for Bolsa Familia. Using data from Brazil's nationally representative household survey PNAD, we first check for an increase in attendance to confirm the salience of the policy for this demographic. Overall we find a small increase in attendance of four to five percentage points, with rural 17-year-old girls increasing their probability of attendance by thirteen percentage points. We find no corresponding drop in fertility neither for the population as a whole nor for these rural teens.

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Presented in Session 105: Adolescent Sexual Behavior and Risk Taking