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Paying Girls to Delay Marriage?

Preliminary Evaluation Findings from a

Conditional Cash Transfer Program to Delay
Marriage in India
Ann Warner, Senior Gender and Youth Specialist, ICRW
Throughout the Reproductive Life Course: Opportunities and
Challenges for Empowering Girls and Women
April 3, 2014
Apni Beti Apna Dhan (ABAD)
Our Daughters Our Wealth
Implemented by the
Government of Haryana from
1994 to 1998
Intended to address declining
sex ratio and early marriage
First CCT to promote value of
girls in India
Protracted payments at 18
and unmarried as condition
for cashing out Rs 25,000
Specific criteria for eligibility
Investigating the Impact of Conditional
Cash Transfers (IMPACCT) Study
1. Is CCT designed around a long-term
incentive of a cash benefit for girls who
delay their marriage successful:
Does the program succeed in delaying
age at marriage?
Are girls enrolled in the program more
likely to stay in school?
Are attitudes of parents and girls in
ABAD households indicative of more
value and support for alternatives to
2. How and why the process of
implementation has led to ABADs success
or failure; and
3. Share results, lessons, implications, and
evaluation tools with relevant
ABAD Savings Bond
Quasi-Experimental, Mixed Method Design
Quantitative Data:
Survey data collected in two rounds: 2012/2013 and 2014*
Elder cohort (Round 1 and 2): beneficiary girls born
1994-1996 and matched with eligible non-bens
Younger cohort (Round 1): beneficiary girls born 1996-
1998 matched with eligible non-bens
Mothers of bens and non-bens
Universal household listing in 4 districts (n=9,466)
Instrumental variable analytic approach
Qualitative data collected to understand context, how girls are
valued, and cashing-out process
*Findings in this presentation only for Round 1

Percentage Currently in School
Significant difference between beneficiary and non beneficiary status and girl
being currently in school for both cohorts at p< 0.05.
Elder cohort Younger cohort
Beneficiary Non-beneficiary
A higher percentage of beneficiary girls tend to drop out after completing
more years at school compared to non-beneficiaries (p<0.01).
Ben (N=671) Non-ben (N=1312)
<5 standard 6-8 standard 9-12/12+ standard
Level of Education Attained
Support at Home
A higher percentage of beneficiary girls get more than 3 hours to study at
home compared to beneficiaries, and this difference was significant (p<0.05).
Less than an hour 1-2 hours 3 or more hour
Amount of time (hours) to study at home
Beneficiary (N=3,780) Non-beneficiary (N=4,180)
Self-Efficacy for Education
(among girls currently in school)
index for
Elder cohort Younger cohort
Beneficiary Non-beneficiary Beneficiary Non-beneficiary
Low 43.1 38.4 41 43.2
Medium 26.6 30.8 29.7 26.2
High 30.03 30.8 29.2 30.6
Total 100 100 100 100
N 1187 1123 998 1042
p>0.05 p>0.05
Multivariate Results
Results from Instrumental Variable Bivariate Probit Regression for Current Schooling
Currently in school
Un-weighted Weighted Weighted & birth rank restricted
Girl Age - 0.381** - 0.368** - 0.398**
Wealth Quintile Second (Ref-Lowest) 0.024 0.02 0.055
Wealth Quintile Middle 0.162** 0.121* 0.178*
Wealth Quintile Fourth 0.200** 0.153* 0.158*
Wealth Quintile Highest 0.361** 0.354** 0.359**
Self-Efficacy Score 0.083** 0.078** 0.079**
Rights Knowledge 0.072** 0.054** 0.057**
GEMS Score 0.028** 0.027** 0.027**
Beneficiary Status (Ref-Non-
beneficiary) (marginal effect=0.23)
0.848** 0.875** 0.571*
Observations 9230 9230 7261
After controlling for the following variables: Caste, Proportion of mother attended school,
Mother attended school, Age at marriage of mother, Mother attended school X beneficiary
interaction, Mean number of beneficiaries in village, secondary school - coeducational in
village, secondary school - girls only in village, higher secondary school - coeducational in
village, higher secondary school - girls only in village
** p<0.001, * p<0.05
Insights from Qualitative Data
I have to keep an eye on hershe goes to school (in the city), what does she do there? Does
she sit in class or roam about in the market? Why else have I fixed an auto-rickshaw for her, I
want that she gets out of school, sits in the auto and comes home straight away
- SC beneficiary father, Sirsa

If a girl is educated she will maintain the house well and will know what to do because she
is knowledgeable. If she is educated then she will take care of everything.
- BC Beneficiary father Hissar

She can get a job) before or after marriage.. I will have nothing to do with that. She would
have to run her house. What should I do? Whatever she would earn, would be for her house.
- SC Beneficiary father

I tell them to be independentto stand on their own feet. Now my daughter cannot do all
these work that I do? She can cook for 4 people and wash their clothes, and nothing more
than that. So I want such that even if there is some problem in your life then you would be able
to do something to earn money. Now look at me one should learn everything to adjust to the
bad times.
- SC Beneficiary Mother

ABAD had a positive and significant impact on girls education.

The role of education in girls lives and its potential to enhance
their employability or economic agency is limited by prevailing
gender roles and expectations.

Need for more analysis in how CCTs can best influence
attitudes and perceptions of girls value.

Impact on age of marriage forthcoming later this year.

ICRW IMPACCT Team, particularly Priya Nanda, Priya Das and
Nitin Datta
USAID Office of Global Health / Population and Reproductive
Health / Research Technology & Utilization, particularly Mihira
Karra, Shefa Sikder and Aysha Asifuddin
Government of Haryana, Department of Women and Child
Population Foundation of India