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Does Pantawid foster dependence or encourage work? Evidence from a randomized experiment (Orbeta & Paqueo 2013)

Absence of Conflict of Interest.

Citation

Orbeta, A., & Paqueo, V. (2013). Does Pantawid foster dependence or encourage work? Evidence from a randomized experiment. Philippine institute for Development Studies. Retrieved from http://nap.psa.gov.ph/ncs/12thncs/papers/INVITED/IPS-09%20Social%20Protection%20Statistics/IPS-09_2%20Impact_of_4Ps_on_Labor_Market_Outcomes%20AO-VP-new.pdf  

Highlights

  • The study’s objective was to examine the impact of a conditional cash transfer program, called Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (Pantawid) on child work participation and hours children worked per week.
  • Using household survey data from a randomized controlled trial, the authors analyzed the impact of the Pantawid program on child work participation almost 24-months after implementation.
  • The study found that there were no significant relationships between participation in the program and child work participation or hours worked per week.
  • The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because it based on a randomized controlled trial with unknown attrition and the authors did not control for pre-existing differences. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to Pantawid; other factors are likely to have contributed. However, the study did not find statistically significant effects.

Intervention Examined

Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program

Features of the Intervention

The Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (Pantawid) was a conditional cash transfer program that aimed to improve the social welfare of families in areas such as child education, health, and child labor. Households were eligible to participate if they had a child aged 0-14 and/or a woman who was pregnant, and if they were considered poor based on a set of household characteristics related to income. To receive the full cash transfer, mothers and/or their spouse needed to participate in family development sessions, any children aged 0-5 and pregnant women needed to receive healthcare, and any children aged 6-14 needed to regularly attend school and obtain deworming treatments. The amount of the cash transfer was equivalent to $11 USD per month for each household if they met the health and family development participation conditions, and an additional $6.50 per month for 10 months for each child aged 6-14 (up to three children) that met the education participation conditions.

Features of the Study

The study used survey data from a randomized controlled trial (RCT). The RCT took place in the Philippines in four provinces: Lanao del Norte, Negros Oriental, Occidental Mindoro, and Mountain Province. The original study randomly assigned 130 Barangays, which are small regional areas, to the treatment and control groups. The study sample included 1,418 households that met eligibility criteria, with about half who lived in the treatment areas (n=714) and about half who lived in the control areas (n=704). A survey was used to measure household characteristics and outcomes and was administered almost two years after treatment households began to participate in the program. Eligible households in the treatment group were able to receive the conditional cash transfers. Eligible households in the control group could not receive the transfer until at least after the survey was administered. After that, they could potentially participate as the program expanded. Regression analyses were used to compare child labor outcomes between the treatment and control groups. Analysis of child labor outcomes included 3,098 school-aged children (6-17 years old) across the treatment and control groups.

Findings

Employment/Child labor

  • The study did not find a significant difference in the proportion of children aged 6-17 that worked for pay between the treatment (8%) and control group (7%).
  • The study also did not find a significant difference in the number of hours children aged 6-17 worked per week between the treatment (17 hours) and the control group (17 hours).

Considerations for Interpreting the Findings

The study used data from a randomized controlled trial with unknown attrition. In cases of high or unknown attrition, a study can receive a moderate causal evidence rating if the analysis controls for possible differences in background characteristics of the treatment and control groups. However, the authors did not control for pre-existing differences, such as child gender and participation in child labor, which may have resulted in pre-existing differences between groups.

Causal Evidence Rating

The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because it based on a randomized controlled trial with unknown attrition and the authors did not control for pre-existing differences. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to Pantawid; other factors are likely to have contributed.

Additional Sources

World Bank. (2013). Philippines conditional cash transfer program impact evaluation 2012. Retrieved from http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/537391468144882935/Philippines-conditional-cash-transfer-program-impact-evaluation-2012  

Reviewed by CLEAR

December 2018

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