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Manipulation of Social Program Eligibility: Detection, Explanations and Consequences for Empirical Research

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  • Adriana Camacho

    ()

  • Emily Conover

    ()

Abstract

We document manipulation of a targeting system which used a poverty index score to determine eligibility for social welfare programs in Colombia, including health insurance. We show strategic behavior in the timing of the household interviews around local elections, and direct manipulation when some households had their eligibility scores lowered. Initially the number of interviews increased around local elections. After the algorithm was made public to local officials, the score density exhibited a sharp discontinuity exactly at the eligibility threshold. The discontinuity at the threshold is larger where mayoral elections are more competitive; and smaller in municipalities with less competitive elections, more community organizations and higher newspaper circulation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE in its series DOCUMENTOS CEDE with number 006211.

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Length: 56
Date of creation: 19 Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:col:000089:006211

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Keywords: Manipulation; Targeting; Local elections; Colombia;

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Cited by:
  1. Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2012. "Corruption in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 479-509, 07.
  2. Marco Manacorda & Edward Miguel & Andrea Vigorito, 2011. "Government Transfers and Political Support," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 1-28, July.
  3. Julien Labonne, 2012. "The local electoral impacts of conditional cash transfers: Evidence from a field experiment," CSAE Working Paper Series 2012-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. Julien Labonne, 2012. "The local electoral impacts of conditional cash transfers Evidence from a field experiment," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2012-09, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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