Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New York City does away with its Conditional Cash Transfer Program

So much for that:

"An unusual and much-heralded program that gave poor families cash to encourage good behavior and self-sufficiency has so far had only modest effects on their lives and economic situation, according to an analysis the Bloomberg administration released on Tuesday.

The three-year-old pilot project, the first of its kind in the country, gave parents payments for things like going to the dentist ($100) or holding down a full-time job ($150 per month). Children were rewarded for attending school regularly ($25 to $50 per month) or passing a high school Regents exam ($600).

But city officials said Tuesday that there were no specific plans at this time to go forward with a publicly financed version of the program... elementary and middle school students who participated made no educational or attendance gains. Neither did high school students who performed below basic proficiency standards before high school."

These programs have been very successful in several developing countries, particularly Mexico's Progresa and Oportunidades programs. Somehow, it seems kind of obvious to me that a program like this would work well in a developing country but not in New York City. Yet, I can't really say why.

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