Argentina: Impacts of the child allowance programme on the labour-market behaviour of adults

Argentina: Impacts of the child allowance programme on the labour-market behaviour of adults

In 2009 Argentina implemented the Universal Child Allowance for Social Protection (AUH,  Asignación Universal por Hijo para Protección Social), a cash transfer programme for households with children. Coverage provided by the contributory family allowance programme was extended to parents who are unemployed or who work in the informal sector (domestic workers, for example).

This paper uses the difference-in-difference estimator and propensity score matching techniques to evaluate the short-term effects of the AUH on adult labour participation and income generation. The results suggest that, during its first year of operation, no significant disincentives to work were generated by the programme, given that it did not discourage adults from working or lead to a reduction in the number of hours worked. These findings are highly relevant in the Latin American context where these kinds of cash transfers have become an important component of social protection systems.