Raphaela Lipinsky DeGette, UCB-UCSF Joint Medical Program
Raphaela worked with researchers at the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública in Cuernavaca, Mexico, to study the impact of the country’s conditional cash transfer program, Oportunidades, on fertility rates. Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs distribute cash benefits to low income households contingent on the families making certain investments in human capital, such as health screenings or education. More than 6 million low-income Mexicans are enrolled in Oportunidades, which has been operating since 1997. Although extensive research has been conducted on the outcomes of Oportunidades, few studies have focused on its effect on fertility rates and sexual behaviors. Raphaela’s research fills this gap by studying the impact of Oportunidades on overall fertility rates and adolescent pregnancy in the first decade of the program. To this end, she is using existing data to perform regression discontinuity analysis, an econometric method for approximating a randomized trial. Her findings will illuminate the relationship between income and fertility in Mexico.