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Child sponsorship is a leading form of direct aid from wealthy country households to children in developing countries. Over 9 million children are supported through international sponsorship organizations. Using data from six countries, we estimate impacts on several outcomes from sponsorship through Compassion International, a leading child sponsorship organization. To identify program effects, we utilize an age-eligibility rule implemented when programs began in new villages. We find large, statistically significant impacts on years of schooling; primary, secondary, and tertiary school completion; and the probability and quality of employment. Early evidence suggests that these impacts are due, in part, to increases in children’s aspirations.


Published by University of Chicago Press

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Prepared for presentation at the UC Berkeley Development Seminar, October 4, 2009, Cornell University Conference on Institutions, Behavior, and the Escape from Persistent Poverty, November 16-17, 2009, Stanford University Development Lunch, April 15, 2010, University of Southern California Development Economics Seminar, October 5, 2010, Georgia Institute of Technology, October 15, 2010, USF Economics Seminar, November 4, 2010, ACCORD Faith-based Development Practitioner Conference, Fort Meyers, FL, November 19, 2010, UC Davis departmental seminar in Agricultural and Resource Economics, January 10, 2011, Pacific Conference for Development Economics, March 2011.



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