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Do social transfer programmes have long-term effects on poverty reduction?

Armando Barrientos
Miguel Niño-Zarazúa


Key points

Social transfers with long-term objectives have a better chance of supporting exits from chronic poverty.

Mexico’s Oportunidades, the longest-running social transfer programme, shows that participation in the programme translates into improved long-term productive capacity of poor households.

To guide the adaptation of existing programmes, and the design of new programmes, programme designers should assess the long-term impact of interventions now, rather than measuring outcomes when existing programmes have completed a longer run.

Further research is needed, in particular developing methodological strategies to enable researchers to simulate long-term effects of social transfer programmes in conditions where data constraints are strong.

Publication Type(s)

CPRC Policy Brief


social protection poverty reduction Latin America


1 Do social transfer programmes have long-term effects PDF 428.1 KB

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