Tag: Conditional Cash Transfers

Education for the Poor


Authors: Lasha Lanchava and Zurab Abramishvili, ISET and CERGE-EI.

This brief summarizes the results of a study by Lanchava and Abramishvili (2015), which investigates the impact on university enrollment of an unconditional cash transfer in Georgia, designed to help households living below the subsistence level. The program, introduced in 2005, selects recipients based on a quantitative poverty threshold, which gives us the opportunity to measure the influence on university enrollment with an econometric regression discontinuity design. We use data on program recipients from the Social Service Agency of Georgia (SSA) and university admissions from the National Examination Center (NAEC) to create a single dataset and compare the enrollment rates of applicants who are just above and below the threshold. We find that being a program recipient significantly increases a student’s likelihood of university enrollment by as much as 1.4 percentage points (while the sample mean of university enrollment is 12.7%). We also find that the impact is stronger for males and the firstborn children in a family. Our analysis also shows that the effect is equally strong across different locations in the country. Our straightforward policy recommendation is that if a government is trying to increase enrollment in tertiary education, need-based university scholarships may prove to be an appropriate instrument.