National Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs

Who benefits from South African Child Support Grant: The role of gender and birthweight

Stunting (low height-for-age) is known to be a good proxy for a child’s wellbeing. Several studies have suggested that the South African Child Support Grant (CSG) reduces stunting in benefiting children. However, all of these studies have estimated the impact of the CSG on the mean of the height-for-age distribution. This paper investigates how this benefit varies across the quantiles of the height-for-age distribution.

Finding the benefits: Estimating the impact of the South African child support grant

The paper estimates the impact of the South African Child Support Grant (CSG) on child health, nutrition and education. Data from the 2008 South African National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) are used. Two non-experimental treatment evaluation techniques, both relying on propensity scores, are applied to six different outcome variables. Using propensity score matching with a binary outcome variable, no convincing evidence of improvements on any of the outcome variables is found. A second technique is therefore also applied, using a generalised form of the propensity scores.

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