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More Education, Better Jobs? A Critical Review of CCTs and Brazil's Bolsa Família Programme for Long-Term Poverty Reduction

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: Conditional cash transfers have come to play a prominent role in the social policy landscape in Latin America and especially in Brazil in recent years. Evaluations of their impacts, however, have focused on limited short-term outcomes, particularly consumption and school enrolment and attendance rates. Long-term outcomes have received comparatively little attention. This article reviews the existing evidence on the long-term impacts of CCTs, focusing on the underlying assumptions in the CCT model for intergenerational poverty reduction. In doing so, it questions the notion that CCTs can indeed interrupt the intergenerational cycle of poverty through human capital investments that are thought to lead to expanded opportunities in the labour market. Moreover, it highlights the need for more research on the social processes that may influence young beneficiaries’ life trajectories and experiences in poverty.

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