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.
Bruce Wydick, Paul Glewwe, and Laine Rutledge. Does International Child Sponsorship Work? A Six-Country Study of Impacts on Adult Life Outcomes. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 121, No. 2 (April 2013), pp. 393-436. DOI: 10.1086/670138