New Release Books by Norbert Schady

Norbert Schady is the author of Emerging from the Pandemic Tunnel with Faster Growth and Greater Equity: A Strategy for a New Social Compact in Latin America and the Caribbean (2020), The Early Years (2015), Cash Transfers, Conditions, School Enrollment, and Child Work (2012), Poverty Alleviation and Child Labor (2012) and other 6 books.

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Emerging from the Pandemic Tunnel with Faster Growth and Greater Equity: A Strategy for a New Social Compact in Latin America and the Caribbean

release date: Jul 30, 2020
Emerging from the Pandemic Tunnel with Faster Growth and Greater Equity: A Strategy for a New Social Compact in Latin America and the Caribbean
While the pandemic lasts, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) will go through a tunnel full of uncertainty. It is not known especially how long it is: how long until therapies or a vaccine emerge, or until best practices are known to control the pandemic to live with a virus of unknown lethality. This note describes policy options on how countries can expand their possibilities to meet the economic challenges of the crisis, with an emphasis on growth and equity. These options are based on the assumption that the fiscal situation of the region and its access to sovereign credit markets are much more restricted than in previous crises, which forces to think about policy reforms beyond fiscal ones to accelerate the Economic recovery. The options are ambitious, but the ambition meets the need. This document is part of a series of 3 IDB monographs on public policies in the context of COVID-19. The other documents can be consulted at the following links: Public Policy to Tackle COVID-19: Recommendations for Latin America and the Caribbean: https://publications.iadb.org/en/public-policy-to-tackle-covid-19-recommendations-for--latin-america-and-the-caribbean From Lockdown to Reopening: Strategic Considerations for the Resumption of Activities in Latin America and the Caribbean within the framework of Covid-19 https://publications.iadb.org/en/from-lockdown-to-reopening-strategic-considerations-for-the-resumption-of-activities-in-latin-america-and-the-caribbean-within-the-framework-of-covid-19

The Early Years

release date: Oct 22, 2015
The Early Years
This book is open access under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO license. The Early Years analyzes the development of Latin American and Caribbean children and makes a compelling case for government intervention in what is instinctively a family affair. Spending on effective programs for young children is an investment that, if done well, will have very high returns, while failure to implement such programs will lower the returns on the hefty investments being made in primary, secondary, and higher education. Policies for young children belong at the core of a country's development agenda, alongside policies to develop infrastructure and strengthen institutions. However, if the services provided (or funded) by governments are to benefit children, they must be substantially better than what is currently being delivered in the region. This book offers suggestions for improving public policy in this critical area.

Cash Transfers, Conditions, School Enrollment, and Child Work

release date: Jan 01, 2012
Cash Transfers, Conditions, School Enrollment, and Child Work
The impact of cash transfer programs on the accumulation of human capital is a topic of great policy importance. An attendant question is whether program effects are larger when transfers are "conditioned" on certain behaviors, such as a requirement that households enroll their children in school. This paper uses a randomized study design to analyze the impact of the Bono de Desarrollo Humano (BDH), a cash transfer program, on enrollment and child work among poor children in Ecuador. There are two main results. First, the BDH program had a large, positive impact on school enrollment, about 10 percentage points, and a large, negative impact on child work, about 17 percentage points. Second, the fact that some households believed that there was a school enrollment requirement attached to the transfers, even though such a requirement was never enforced or monitored in Ecuador, helps explain the magnitude of program effects.

Poverty Alleviation and Child Labor

release date: Jan 01, 2012
Poverty Alleviation and Child Labor
Does child labor decrease as household income rises? This question has important implications for the design of policy on child labor. This paper focuses on a program of unconditional cash transfers in Ecuador. It argues that the effect of a small increase in household income on child labor should be concentrated among children most vulnerable to transitioning from schooling to work. The paper finds support for this hypothesis. Cash transfers have small effects on child time allocation at peak school attendance ages and among children already out of school at baseline, but have large impacts at ages and in groups most likely to leave school and start work. Additional income is associated with a decline in paid work that takes place away from the child's home. Declines in work for pay are associated with increases in school enrollment, especially for girls. Increases in schooling are matched by an increase in education expenditures that appears to absorb most of the cash transfer. However, total household expenditures do not increase with the transfer and appear to fall in households most impacted by the transfer because of the decline in child labor.

Cognitive Development Among Young Children in Ecuador

release date: Jan 01, 2012
Cognitive Development Among Young Children in Ecuador
Paxson and Schady examine the relationship between early cognitive development, socioeconomic status, child health, and parenting quality in a developing country. They use a sample of over 3,000 predominantly poor pre-school age children from Ecuador and analyze determinants of their scores on the Spanish version of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (TVIP), a widely used test of language ability. The authors show that median age-normed test scores on the TVIP are much lower for older than younger children, and there is greater dispersion in scores among older children. They find that household socioeconomic characteristics, in particular wealth and parental education, are "protective"-children from wealthier households with more educated parents have higher scores. The associations of test scores with wealth and maternal education are larger for older children, suggesting that these factors have cumulative effects on cognitive ability. Last, the authors show that child health and measures of parenting quality are associated with performance on the TVIP. Children with lower hemoglobin levels perform worse on tests. Measures of parenting quality, in particular the degree to which parents are "responsive" and "harsh" toward children, and whether children are read to, account for a portion, although not the majority, of the association between socioeconomic status and cognitive development.

The Medium-Term Effects of Scholarships in a Low-Income Country

release date: Jan 01, 2014
The Medium-Term Effects of Scholarships in a Low-Income Country
Despite progress in recent decades, a substantial fraction of children in developing countries attain little schooling, and many adults lack skills that are valued in the labor market. We evaluate the medium-term effects of a program that provided scholarships for three years to poor children upon graduation from elementary school in Cambodia, a low-income country. To do this we use a sharp regression discontinuity design. We show that scholarships have substantial effects on school attainment. By the time children would have been in grade 11 had they remained in school, two years after they stopped being eligible for scholarships, those who were offered scholarships have attained 0.6 more grades of completed schooling. Nevertheless, we find no evidence that scholarships had significant effects on test scores, employment, earnings, or the probability of getting married or having a child in adolescence.

Does Money Matter? The Effects of Cash Transfers on Child Health and Development in Rural Ecuador

release date: Jan 01, 2012
Does Money Matter? The Effects of Cash Transfers on Child Health and Development in Rural Ecuador
The authors examine how a government-run cash transfer program targeted to poor mothers in rural Ecuador influenced the health and development of their children. This program is of particular interest because, unlike other transfer programs that have been implemented recently in Latin America, receipt of the cash transfers was not conditioned on specific parental actions, such as taking children to health clinics or sending them to school. This feature of the program makes it possible to assess whether conditionality is necessary for programs to have beneficial effects on children. The authors use random assignment at the parish level to identify the program's effects. They find that the cash transfer program had positive effects on the physical, cognitive, and socioemotional development of children, and the treatment effects were substantially larger for the poorer children than for less poor children. Among the poorest children in the sample, those whose mothers were eligible for transfers had outcomes that were on average more than 20 percent of a standard deviation higher than those for comparable children in the control group. Treatment effects are somewhat larger for girls and for children with more highly-educated mothers. The authors examine three mechanisms-better nutrition, greater use of health care, and better parenting-through which the transfers might influence child development. The program appeared to improve children's nutrition and increased the chance they were treated for helminth infections. But children in the treatment group were not more likely to visit health clinics for growth monitoring, and the mental health and parenting of their mothers did not improve.

The Impact of Cash Transfers on School Enrollment

release date: Jan 01, 2012
The Impact of Cash Transfers on School Enrollment
This paper presents evidence about the impact on school enrollment of a program in Ecuador that gives cash transfers to the 40 percent poorest families. The evaluation design consists of a randomized experiment for families around the first quintile of the poverty index and of a regression discontinuity design for families around the second quintile of this index, which is the program's eligibility threshold. This allows us to compare results from two different credible identification methods, and to investigate whether the impact varies with families' poverty level. Around the first quintile of the poverty index the impact is positive while it is equal to zero around the second quintile. This suggests that for the poorest families the program lifts a credit constraint while this is not the case for families close to the eligibility threshold.

Are There Diminishing Returns to Transfer Size in Conditional Cash Transfers?

release date: Jan 01, 2012
Are There Diminishing Returns to Transfer Size in Conditional Cash Transfers?
There is increasing evidence that conditional cash transfer programs can have large impacts on school enrollment, including in very poor countries. However, little is known about which features of program design -- including the amount of the cash that is transferred, how frequently conditions are monitored, whether non-complying households are penalized, and the identity or gender of the cash recipients -- account for the observed outcomes. This paper analyzes the impact of one feature of program design -- namely, the magnitude of the transfer. The analysis uses data from a program in Cambodia that deliberately altered the transfer amounts received by otherwise comparable households. The findings show clear evidence of diminishing marginal returns to transfer size despite the fact that even the larger transfers represented on average only 3 percent of the consumption of the median recipient households. If applicable to other settings, these results have important implications for other programs that transfer cash with the explicit aim of increasing school enrollment levels in developing countries.

Development, Modernization, and Son Preference in Fertility Decisions

release date: Jan 01, 2012
Development, Modernization, and Son Preference in Fertility Decisions
A family preference for sons over daughters may manifest itself in different ways, including higher mortality, worse health status, or lower educational attainment among girls. This study focuses on one measure of son preference in the developing world, namely the likelihood of continued childbearing given the gender composition of existing children in the family. The authors use an unusually large data set, covering 65 countries and approximately 5 million births. The analysis shows that son preference is apparent in many regions of the developing world and is particularly large in South Asia and in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. Modernization does not appear to reduce son preference. For example, in South Asia son preference is larger for women with more education and is increasing over time. The explanation for these patterns appears to be that latent son preference in childbearing is more likely to manifest itself when fertility levels are low. As a result of son preference, girls tend to grow up with significantly more siblings than boys do, which may have implications for their wellbeing if there are quantity-quality trade-offs that result in fewer material and emotional resources allocated to children in larger families.
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