Re-evaluating one of the largest conditional cash transfer programmes in the world

A recent article by Dr Natalie Carvalho at the Centre for Health Policy has been published in a special issue of the Journal of Development Studies. This study re-evaluates one of the largest conditional cash transfer programmes in the world. Despite being critical to the scientific process, replication studies continue to be rare in the literature due to a lack of demand and incentives for social scientists to conduct them. This Journal of Development Studies special issue has compiled a set of completed International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)-funded replication studies.

Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) is a cash transfer programme that provides financial incentives to pregnant women across India to encourage them to deliver in health facilities. This study re-examined a highly influential paper published in the Lancet on the effect of JSY on reproductive health coverage indicators and perinatal and neonatal mortality.

This study find the results of the original paper to be replicable and consistent across a variety of robustness checks. However, the study finds meaningful heterogeneity across states and districts in the effects of JSY on probability of in-facility delivery and skilled birth attendance, as well as neonatal mortality rates. In particular, national level treatment estimates may be understated when averaged over all states and districts, especially when accounting for the implementation lag across the country.

Further details and access to the (open access) article can be found here.