Do Cash Transfers Promoting Early Childhood Development Have Unintended Consequences on Fertility?

There has been a stark rise in direct cash transfer programs to the poor, and in policy interest in interventions targeting outcomes in early childhood. We draw these trends together to study whether interventions offering cash transfers to pregnant mothers to promote early childhood development, unintentionally induce those not pregnant to bring forward birth timing in order to become eligible for the receipt of such transfers. We do so in the context of rural Northern Nigeria, where the majority of households reside in extreme poverty, are credit constrained and food insecure, and frequently experience aggregate shocks.