Rural Development Policies and Conditional Cash Transfers in Brazil: An Impact Evaluation of the IFAD-Supported Gavião Project and Potential Synergies with Bolsa Família

Available from: 
August 2018
Paper author(s): 
L.V. Costa
S. Helfand
A.P. Souza
Topic: 
Financial Economics
Year: 
2018

Public policies frequently are implemented simultaneously rather than in isolation. We seek to estimate the impacts—and possible synergies—of a rural development project (Pro-Gavião) and the Brazilian conditional cash transfer program (Bolsa Família). In partnership with the State Government of Bahia, Pro-Gavião was an IFAD supported rural development project in 13 contiguous municipalities between 1997 and 2005. Census tract level data were extracted for the analysis from the 1995-96 and 2006 Agricultural Censuses. The evaluation uses Propensity Score Matching to construct a control group of untreated census tracts, and a difference-in-differences estimation to identify impacts. The outcomes analyzed include land productivity, agricultural income and child labor. Although Pro-Gavião involved significant investments in the region, the results suggest little if any program impact, or synergies between the two programs. Alternative explanations for the null results are discussed.

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