The Influence of Cash Transfers and Remittances on Children's Human Capital Accumulation

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Dalton, Elijah Peter
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University of Guelph

Cash transfers are a common aid intervention and many rural households rely on remittances, yet the links between these forms of support and children’s human capital accumulation in disaster-prone contexts are poorly understood. In this thesis I apply Checkland’s (2012) Soft Systems Methodology to explore the influence of cash transfers and remittances on children’s human capital accumulation in a case study of Madhepura District in Bihar, India. Data was collected through informal meetings, key informant interviews, surveys, and in-depth interviews. Cash transfers were found to influence children’s outcomes through direct spending, the avoidance of debt, and support of livelihood adaptation. The influence of remittance sending was shown to be dependent on whether it was preceded by distress migration or safe migration. Based on the findings I recommend making cash transfers more accessible and employing them for livelihood adaptation, as well as building capacity for local governance and financial institutions.

cash transfers, remittances, children, human capital accumulation, India, disaster-prone, rural development