Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs, which have been implemented in more than 60 countries, provide cash payments to poor families contingent on their meeting certain conditions such as using preventive healthcare, keeping children enrolled in school, or engaging in employment or training. The goal is to encourage families to invest in activities that help them break the cycle of poverty.

The study found that the program did not produce the hoped-for effects on most key outcomes (g., child education, parental employment) during a two to four-year period.

This study was more credible than some earlier RCTs of CCTs in that it measured key outcomes through both participant self-reports and objective data (educational and wage records). CCT studies that rely primarily on self-reports may overstate program effects, given the incentives for treatment group members (but not controls) to report positive outcomes.

CCT programs do not yet show promise as a way to reduce long-term poverty in the United States.

Read the full article on conditional cash transfers at Straight Talk on Evidence