This article from The Economist goes over statistics that illustrate falling inequality in many countries in Latin America. It says that the average minimum wage has gone up, and more children are able to attend school in most countries (except for in Central America). One of the methods that governments are using to encourage children to attend schools is by paying a monthly stipend to the children’s families, and I took issue with this particular plan.
Direct payments to the families according to the child’s attendance opens up a number of problems, the first being the possibility of fraud (using someone else’s child, orphans etc.) to collect extra money, and a second problem of how to guarantee that the money will be spent in a way that benefits the child. The possible problems could be resolved better funding for the schools themselves to make them a better environment for the children to want to be in.
I thought the article was interesting, but it seemed to downplay the problems that still exist. While the World Bank did see signs of improvement, it is too early to generalize and say that an entire continent is improving quickly when most of Central America is still not growing at a desirable speed