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Local Electoral Incentives and Decentralized Program Performance

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Author Info

  • de Janvry, Alain

    ()
    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Finan, Frederico S.

    ()
    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Sadoulet, Elisabeth

    ()
    (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

This paper analyzes how electoral incentives affected the performance of a major decentralized conditional cash transfer program intended on reducing school dropout rates among children of poor households in Brazil. We show that while this federal program successfully reduced school dropout by 8 percentage points, the program's impact was 36 percent larger in municipalities governed by mayors who faced reelection possibilities compared to those with lame-duck mayors. First term mayors with good program performance were much more likely to get re-elected. These mayors adopted program implementation practices that were not only more transparent but also associated with better program outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5382.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published online in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2011, [Early Access]
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5382

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Keywords: conditional cash transfer; electoral incentives; decentralization; impact evaluation;

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References

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  1. List, John & Sturm, Daniel M, 2004. "How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 4489, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Card, David & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1988. "Measuring the Effect of Subsidized Training Programs on Movements in and out of Employment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 497-530, May.
  3. Seabright, Paul, 1996. "Accountability and decentralisation in government: An incomplete contracts model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 61-89, January.
  4. Levitt, Steven D & Snyder, James M, Jr, 1997. "The Impact of Federal Spending on House Election Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 30-53, February.
  5. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Decentralized targeting of an antipoverty program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 705-727, April.
  6. 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.
  7. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2007. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil’s Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 2836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2007. "Electoral Accountability and Corruption in Local Governments: Evidence from Audit Reports," IZA Discussion Papers 2843, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. FranÁois Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Phillippe G. Leite, 2003. "Conditional Cash Transfers, Schooling, and Child Labor: Micro-Simulating Brazil's Bolsa Escola Program," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 229-254, December.
  10. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2001. "Does decentralization increase responsiveness to local needs? - evidence from Bolivia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2516, The World Bank.
  11. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2006. "Pro-poor targeting and accountability of local governments in West Bengal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 303-327, April.
  12. Sundadam, R.K. & Banks, J., 1991. "Adverse Selection and Moral hazard in a Repeated Elections Models," RCER Working Papers 283, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  13. Ravallion, Martin, 2007. "How relevant is targeting to the success of an antipoverty program ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4385, The World Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Yanez-Pagans, Monica & Machicado-Salas, Gustavo, 2014. "Bureaucratic Delay, Local-Level Monitoring, and Delivery of Small Infrastructure Projects: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Bolivia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 394-407.
  2. Brollo, Fernanda & Nannicini, Tommaso, 2011. "Tying Your Enemy’s Hands in Close Races: The Politics of Federal Transfers in Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 5698, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Kosec, Katrina, 2014. "Relying on the private sector: The income distribution and public investments in the poor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 320-342.
  4. Yang Yao & Nancy Qia & Monica Martinez Bravo & Gerard Padro i Miquel, 2011. "Do Local Elections in Non-Democracies Increase Accountability? Evidence from Rural China," Working Papers id:3931, eSocialSciences.
  5. Paul Redmond & John Regan, 2013. "Incumbency Advantage in Irish Elections: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth n241-13.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  6. Elbers, Chris & Gunning, Jan Willem, 2013. "Evaluation of development programs : randomized controlled trials or regressions ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6587, The World Bank.
  7. Alderman, Harold & Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2013. "How can safety nets contribute to economic growth ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6437, The World Bank.

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