Are Conditional Cash Transfers Associated with Lower Labor Supply?: Evidence from Mexico's Oportunidades Over the Period 2000-2010

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Dec 2012
This paper analyzes the correlation between the expansion of the Mexican Conditional Cash Transfer program Oportunidades and the evolution of the labor market over the period 2000-10. We find no evidence of perverse effects. Program expansion was not associated with drops in either labor force participation or wageformality. On the contrary, the expansion of Oportunidades was strongly correlated with a transition from informal wage employment to self-employment for men (by 1.6% and 0.6% of total employment in rural and urban municipalities respectively). These findings suggest that Oportunidades is not creating dependence from social assistance.