Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Heather Antecol

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Rights Information

© 2013 Ryan F. Boone


This paper analyzes the impacts of the Malawi Social Cash Transfer Scheme. The goal of this paper is to help improve the design of cash transfers. First of all, I analyze whether the cash transfer positively affects child health variables despite occurring in a region with poor supply side health institutions. I find significant results for many child level variables, such as frequency of illnesses, but insignificant improvements in anthropometric measurements. Secondly, I examine whether female-headed households invest more in child health than male-headed households. The results show that the impacts of the cash transfer did not depend on the sex of the household head. This result provides some evidence that females do not always have systematically different preferences for expenditure on children than males. The paper uses the imperfect randomization of the cash transfer in combination with difference-in-differences regressions, propensity score matching, and Lee Bounds tests in order to ensure the robustness of the results.