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Abstract

This paper discusses the experience of six conditional cash transfer programs in Latin America, a model of social safety nets which have grown to dominate the social protection sector in the region over the last 10 years. We find that while conditional cash transfer programs have generally been successful in terms of reaching their core objective, it is still not clear whether they constitute the most cost efficient or sustainable solution to the development bottleneck they seek to address. Further, the almost exclusive focus on human capital accumulation of children leads to missed opportunities in terms of impact on household welfare and the broader rural development context.

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