Conditional cash transfers (CCTs) have been widely promoted for their ability to simultaneously pursue the twin objectives of short-term poverty alleviation through income support (i.e. cash transfers), and long-term poverty reduction through human capital investments (i.e. conditional behavioural changes). Yet, in spite of constituting one of the most researched development programmes, CCTs’ alleged capabilities concerning long-term poverty reduction remain enigmatic, wrapped in numerous layers of theoretical assumptions and ‘taken-for-granted’ expectations. This dissertation accordingly looks at evidence, assumptions, and diffusion of CCTs in Latin America.