In this journal, I have discussed the different structural problems that a country faces in improving things like education, healthcare, and the economy overall. A strong education system requires an adequate number of schools and teachers. Likewise, good public health programs need to provide reasonable access to doctors and medical facilities. Also, for healthcare in particular, people need to be educated about nutrition and preventive measures to avoid costly hospitalizations down the road. But even with all of the components in place, not everyone will avail of these services. Some people will choose to be the proverbial non-drinking horse, though usually out of necessity rather than willful ignorance. That is because there is an opportunity cost to sending kids to school – if the child is working or watching his siblings while the parents work, going to school means lost income for the family.
So even if you have all the tools in place, it still might not be enough to effect the desired change. One solution to this problem is conditional cash transfers (CCT). In exchange for doing something, a person receives money. In other words, you pay them to do the things you want, which happen to be the things that are ultimately in the best interest of them, their family, and country as a whole. In this case, something means sending your child to school, immunizing your family, or any other behavior that will result in an improvement in “human capital.” Continue reading