Two-Year Impacts of a Comprehensive Family Financial Rewards Program on Children's Academic Outcomes: Moderation by Likelihood of Earning Rewards

Juliette Berg, Pamela Morris, Larry Aber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article examines the extent to which impacts of a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program on children's academic outcomes vary by key characteristics associated with families' propensity to earn the rewards offered by the program. We utilize an experimental study of Opportunity NYC-Family Rewards, a comprehensive CCT program in New York City in which low-income families were offered rewards for outcomes in health, education, and work. Building from a technique in propensity score research but used here to assess subgroup impacts in experimental studies, we use multiple baseline characteristics to predict the amount of rewards earned as a means to identify theoretically important, multivariate-defined groups of children for whom program effects might be more concentrated. Fourth-grade children in families with higher likelihood to earn rewards experienced more positive impacts of the program on academic outcomes. By contrast, no program impacts were found among 7th- or 9th-graders whose families were most likely to earn rewards. Differences across age groups are discussed in terms of their different developmental periods and the differing way the children experienced the intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-338
Number of pages44
JournalJournal of Research on Educational Effectiveness
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013

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Keywords

  • academic achievement
  • Conditional cash transfer programs
  • experimental evaluation
  • multivariate subgroup analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

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abstract = "This article examines the extent to which impacts of a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program on children's academic outcomes vary by key characteristics associated with families' propensity to earn the rewards offered by the program. We utilize an experimental study of Opportunity NYC-Family Rewards, a comprehensive CCT program in New York City in which low-income families were offered rewards for outcomes in health, education, and work. Building from a technique in propensity score research but used here to assess subgroup impacts in experimental studies, we use multiple baseline characteristics to predict the amount of rewards earned as a means to identify theoretically important, multivariate-defined groups of children for whom program effects might be more concentrated. Fourth-grade children in families with higher likelihood to earn rewards experienced more positive impacts of the program on academic outcomes. By contrast, no program impacts were found among 7th- or 9th-graders whose families were most likely to earn rewards. Differences across age groups are discussed in terms of their different developmental periods and the differing way the children experienced the intervention.",
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