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Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Arts in Political Science


Political Science

Major Advisor

Brian Wampler, Ph.D.


Mike Touchton, Ph.D.


Ross Burkhart, Ph.D.


This thesis investigates how the Brazilian conditional cash transfer program, Bolsa Família, contributes to sustainable development through education. Using panel analysis of high school test scores for over 5,000 municipalities from 2004 to 2014, I discuss the impacts that Bolsa Família is having upon sustainable development. In light of the UNs new Sustainable Development Goals, actionable knowledge of the sustainability of human development through Bolsa Família is needed to assess how viable cash conditional transfer programs are as an innovative policy option around the world. My results conclude that Bolsa Família is contributing to sustainable human development and this thesis demonstrates that high quality municipal-level management is essential for the long-term effectiveness of the cash conditional transfer program.