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DT 03/22 - Más allá del problema de la adhesión: transferencias monetarias y sus efectos sobre el estigma. Evidencia para el programa AFAM – PE

ISSNISSN/ISBN: 1688-5090
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Cash transfers programs (CTPs) have been widely implemented over the last two decades in many Latin American and Caribbean countries as one of the main social assistance programs designed to alleviate poverty. Many studies have documented their positive effects in various standard socioeconomic outcomes, albeit empirical evidence about their potential effects on non-standard dimensions such as welfare stigma has been scarce. This paper aims to analyze the effects of CTPs on their beneficiaries’ perceived welfare stigma, using the case of the main conditional cash transfer policy in Uruguay, Asignaciones Familiares - Plan de Equidad (AFAM-PE). The identification strategy exploits the assignment rule to the program based on the score of an eligibility index using a Fuzzy RD design. The data used comes from administrative records and a followup panel survey. The main results show the program has positive although mild effects on its recipients’ overall shame proneness. Participation in the program increases the score of a shame proneness index (between 0.49 and 0.69 SD). Moreover, it has a positive effect on the frequency of feeling self-conscious (between 0.60 and 0.66 SD) and on the probability of feeling uncomfortable with appearing in public (between 0.31 and 0.63). These results are statistically significant at a 95% confidence interval and turn out to be robust to a series of robustness checks. Additionally, there is suggestive evidence that it slightly decreases the perceived empowerment level of individuals', although this result is not robust. Not taking into account these effects would lead to overestimate the impacts of CTPs on its beneficiaries well-being.
 
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