Monday 18 March 2019, 12:30 - 14:00

The Impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Household's Fertility Choices in India

Kritika Saxena, PhD candidate in Development Economics

Brown Bag Lunch

Venue Maison de la Paix S6 , Petal 2

Presented by Kritika Saxena,
PhD candidate in Development Economics


This paper tests the impact of a conditional cash transfer program called the Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY) launched by the Government of India in 2005 to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the country, on fertility decisions made my households with respect to the gender composition of their children. By providing access to prenatal sex determination technology on one hand through a precondition of undertaking at least 3 ante natal checks  and reducing the cost of childbearing on the other through a cash transfer on every live birth in a health institution, this program unintentionally influenced  the sex selective behaviour among Indian parents. This paper uses the recent DHS IV data and employs a triple difference estimator that relies on exogeniety of state of residence of program beneficiaries, timing of the program and exogeniety of sex of the first child  to estimate the effect of this program on sex selective abortions in India. The paper finds that contrary to previous work on sex selective abortions, JSY led to an increase in number of girls being born and at the same time an increase in infant mortality among girls. It also provides suggestive evidence of nutritional gender gap among the surviving children in India.

The Brown Bag Lunch is a weekly event organized by International Economics where professors and doctoral students are invited to present their ongoing research. For more details please send an e-mail to Xiaojing Zhou at .