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Title page for ETD etd-03272011-185029

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Reuse Martins, Becky Kay
Author's Email Address bkr.martins@gmail.com
URN etd-03272011-185029
Title Com a barriga cheia: the impact of the Bolsa Família Program on educational outcomes in Brazil
Degree Master of Arts
Department Latin American Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dr. Stephen Heyneman Committee Chair
Dr. Marshall Eakin Committee Member
  • education reform
  • Bolsa Família
  • Bolsa Escola
  • Brazil
  • student
  • education
  • educational outcomes
  • performance
  • conditional cash transfer programs
  • social policy
  • welfare programs
  • inequality
  • achievement
  • Latin America
  • South America
Date of Defense 2011-04-21
Availability unrestricted
This thesis evaluates the impact of the Brazilian Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program, Bolsa Família, on educational outcomes with special attention to student performance. In Brazil, CCTs in education first appeared in 1995 in the Federal District of Brasília and in the city of Campinas, São Paulo with the Bolsa Escola Program. In 2004, Bolsa Escola and other social programs were collapsed under the comprehensive poverty alleviation initiative, Bolsa Família. As of 2011 there were 12 million families participating in the Bolsa Família Program making it the largest CCT Program in the world. This thesis demonstrates that since the implementation of Bolsa Família, students in the lowest income quintiles, the target population of Bolsa Família, have shown improved performance on the national achievement test, the SAEB, also known as Prova Brasil. This thesis suggests the inclusion of an additional transfer contingent on improved performance on exams or improved final grades to further stimulate the desire for academic achievement among recipient children and their families. In conclusion, this thesis finds that Bolsa Família has improved the educational outcomes for students of low socioeconomic status while simultaneously stimulating a much-needed discussion about the equity and quality of public education in Brazil.
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