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Distributive Politics and Conditional Cash Transfers: The Case of Brazil’s Bolsa Família

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  • Fried, Brian J.
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    Abstract

    Brazilian politicians have long relied on pork and clientelism to win political support, and recent literature suggests that little has changed. However, researchers have yet to systematically investigate whether political criteria influence the distribution of funds through Bolsa Família. This is especially surprising given the program’s prominence in the international community. In this paper, I examine whether political criteria explain the federal government’s distribution of Bolsa Família. I find little evidence that political criteria explain the difference between the number of poor families that live in a municipality and the number of families that receive support. I conclude by discussing the broader significance of this large, programmatic policy to Brazil’s political development.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X11002440
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 1042-1053

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:40:y:2012:i:5:p:1042-1053

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

    Related research

    Keywords: Latin America; Brazil; distributive politics; conditional cash transfers; clientelism;

    References

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    1. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, October.
    2. Fabio Veras Soares & Rafael Perez Ribas & Rafael Guerreiro Osório, 2007. "Evaluating the Impact of Brazil?s Bolsa Família: Cash Transfer Programmes in Comparative Perspective," Publications 1, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    3. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
    4. Robinson, James A & Verdier, Thierry, 2002. "The Political Economy of Clientelism," CEPR Discussion Papers 3205, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:
    1. Mccourt, Willy, 2012. "Can Top-Down and Bottom-Up be Reconciled? Electoral Competition and Service Delivery in Malaysia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(11), pages 2329-2341.
    2. Armando Barrientos, 2013. "Human Development Income Transfers in the Longer Term," Working Papers 116, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.

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