Discussion paper

DP14541 Cash Transfer Programs and Household Labor Supply

Employment helps reduce the risk of poverty. Through a randomized controlled trial, we evaluate the impact of a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to low-income families with dependent children on household members’ labor sup-ply. Recipients are required to attend labor-market-oriented mentoring courses as a condition of the transfer. One year after admission to the program, fathers assigned to the CCT program are more likely to work (+14 percent) than fathers assigned to an unconditional cash transfer program or to a pure control group. No effect arises for mothers. Results seem to be explained by improved family networks and increased parental investments in activities that enhance labor market opportunities.


Del Boca, D, C Pronzato and G Sorrenti (2020), ‘DP14541 Cash Transfer Programs and Household Labor Supply‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 14541. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp14541