University of Wisconsin–Madison
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New findings on New York City’s conditional cash transfer program

Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs use financial incentives that offer low-income families a way to reduce their immediate poverty while taking steps to improve their human capital. CCTs have spread across many lower- and middle-income nations with varying degrees of success. The first comprehensive CCT program in a high-income nation was a privately funded demonstration project conducted in New York City called Opportunity NYC—Family Rewards. This program was designed by the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity and nongovernmental agencies in collaboration with MDRC and offered financial rewards tied to children’s education progress, family preventive health-care practices, and parents’ employment. It is the subject of an ongoing long-term random assignment evaluation by researchers at MDRC. Preliminary evaluation results covering the program’s early operational phase were released in 2010 and summarized by IRP. (See “Early findings from New York City’s conditional cash transfer program,” Fast Focus No. 5-2010, by James Riccio.) In this issue of Fast Focus, James Riccio shares new evaluation results published by MDRC in September 2013. In brief, Riccio and his team found that Family Rewards’ effects through the end of the program and into the early post-program period were more modest than had been hoped for, but the range of positive effects justifies continuing to experiment with the CCT concept to try to improve it. A “next generation” version of the model is now being tested in the Bronx, NY, and Memphis, Tennessee.

Categories

Children, Economic Support, Education & Training, Employment, Employment General, Family & Partnering, Health, Health Care, K-12 Education, Parenting

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