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Conditional Cash Transfers, Political Participation, and Voting Behavior

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Author Info

  • Baez, Javier E.

    ()
    (World Bank)

  • Camacho, Adriana

    ()
    (Universidad de los Andes)

  • Conover, Emily

    ()
    (Hamilton College)

  • Zárate, Román Andrés

    ()
    (Universidad de los Andes)

Abstract

This paper estimates the effect of enrollment in a large scale anti-poverty program in Colombia, Familias en Acción (FA), on intent to vote, turnout and electoral choice. For identification we use discontinuities in program eligibility and variation in program enrollment across voting booths. We find that FA has a positive effect on political participation in the 2010 presidential elections by increasing the probability that program beneficiaries register to vote and cast a ballot, particularly among women. Regarding voter's choice, we find that program participants expressed a stronger preference for the official party that implemented and expanded the program. Overall, the findings show that voters respond to targeted transfers and that these transfers can foster support for incumbents, thus making the case for designing political and legislative mechanisms, as the laws recently passed by the Colombian government, that avoid successful anti-poverty schemes from being captured by political patronage.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6870.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6870

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Keywords: Conditional Cash Transfers; voting behavior; Colombia;

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  1. Finan, Frederico S. & Schechter, Laura, 2011. "Vote-Buying and Reciprocity," IZA Discussion Papers 5965, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Drazen, Allan & Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Electoral manipulation via voter-friendly spending: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 39-52, May.
  3. Manacorda, Marco & Miguel, Edward & Vigorito, Andrea, 2009. "Government Transfers and Political Support," CEPR Discussion Papers 7163, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2010. "Optimal bandwidth choice for the regression discontinuity estimator," CeMMAP working papers, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies CWP05/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Adriana Camacho & Emily Conover, 2011. "Manipulation of Social Program Eligibility," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 41-65, May.
  6. Gine, Xavier & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2011. "Together we will : experimental evidence on female voting behavior in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5692, The World Bank.
  7. Oskar Nupia, 2011. "Anti-Poverty Programs and Presidential Election Outcomes: Familias en Acción in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 008743, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  8. Orazio Attanasio & Erich Battistin & Alice Mesnard, 2009. "Food and cash transfers: evidence from Colombia," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W09/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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Cited by:
  1. Paola Pena, 2014. "The Politics of the diffusion of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 20114, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  2. Armando Barrientos & Juan Miguel Villa, 2014. "Economic and political inclusion of human development conditional transfer programmes in Latin America?," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 20014, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  3. Armando Barrientos, 2013. "Politicising poverty in Latin America in the light of Rawls’ ‘strains of commitment’ argument for a social minimum," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 18213, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  4. 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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