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We estimate the impact of international child sponsorship on adult income and wealth of formally sponsored children using data on 10,144 individuals in six countries. To identify causal effects, we utilize an age-eligibility rule followed from 1980 to 1992 that limited sponsorship to children 12 years old or younger when the program was introduced in a village, allowing comparisons of sponsored children with older siblings who were slightly too old to be sponsored. Estimations indicate that international child sponsorship increased monthly income by $13-19 over an untreated baseline of $75, principally from inducing higher future labor market participation. We also find strong evidence for positive impacts on dwelling quality in adulthood, and modest evidence of impacts on adult ownership of consumer durables, limited to increased ownership of mobile phones.


Presented at the University of Notre Dame, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, April 24, 2014. May 2014.

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