Institutionalizing Segregation: Women, Conditional Cash Transfers, and Paid Employment in Southern Ecuador

In Ecuador, the cash transfer program Bono de Desarrollo Humano (BDH) has been associated with improvements in children's cognitive achievement, household food expenditures and with a reduction in child labor. However, the program's overall effect on labor supply of adult BDH recipients is subject to some controversy. The BDH has come under attack by those claiming that the program merely creates welfare dependency and reduces economic self‐sufficiency among its recipients. Women of working age who receive BDH payments are being stigmatized for not making sufficient efforts to work or find better employment, allegedly motivated by their desire to remain eligible for the program.