From Perspectives to Policy Contingencies: conditional cash transfers as social investments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Despite the popularity of the social investment approach, there remain ambiguities regarding how to design an effective social investment policy. We review evaluations of conditional cash transfers (CCTs) in Latin America in order to draw out lessons for how to improve the effectiveness of social investment. CCTs share many of the objectives of the social investment approach and are targeted at poorer groups. Since research shows that such groups are often not adequately supported through social investment policies, analyzing CCTs holds particular promise. Our analysis finds that architects of social investment policies should consider three questions when designing a social investment approach: how much investment is necessary to fulfill social investment functions, what is the causal mechanism through which the goals of social investment are to be achieved and what array of policies are necessary for such mechanisms to be effective?


External organisations
  • Princeton University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


  • Conditional cash transfers, conditionality, poverty, social policy, social investment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-37
Number of pages17
JournalGlobal Social Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr 1
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Article first published online on February 29, 2016.