Conditional Cash Transfers, Civil Conflict and Insurgent Influence: Experimental Evidence from the Philippines
Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs are an increasingly popular tool for reducing poverty in conflict-affected areas. Despite their growing popularity, there is limited evidence on how CCT programs affect conflict and theoretical predictions are ambiguous. We estimate the effect of conditional cash transfers on civil conflict in the Philippines by exploiting an experiment that randomly assigned eligibility for a CCT program at the village level. We find that cash transfers caused a substantial decrease in conflict-related incidents in treatment villages relative to control villages. Using unique data on local insurgent influence, we also find that the program significantly reduced insurgent influence in treated villages.