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Manipulation of Social Program Eligibility

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  • Adriana Camacho
  • Emily Conover

Abstract

We document how manipulation of a targeting system for social welfare programs evolves over time. First, there was strategic behavior of some local politicians in the timing of the household interviews around local elections. Then, there was corrupt behavior with the sudden emergence of a sharp discontinuity in the score density, exactly at the eligibility threshold, which coincided with the release of the score algorithm to local officials. The discontinuity at the threshold is larger where mayoral elections are more competitive. While cultural forces are surely relevant for corruption, our results also highlight the importance of information and incentives. (JEL D72, I32, I38, O15, O17).

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:3:y:2011:i:2:p:41-65
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.2.41
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
    2. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
    3. Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Do Taxpayers Bunch at Kink Points?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 180-212, August.
    4. Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 843-877.
    5. 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.
    6. Raymond Fisman & Edward Miguel, 2007. "Corruption, Norms, and Legal Enforcement: Evidence from Diplomatic Parking Tickets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 1020-1048, December.
    7. Leora Friedberg, 2000. "The Labor Supply Effects of the Social Security Earnings Test," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 48-63, February.
    8. Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Point Shaving: Corruption in NCAA Basketball," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 279-283, May.
    9. Olken, Benjamin A., 2006. "Corruption and the costs of redistribution: Micro evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 853-870, May.
    10. Barr, Abigail & Serra, Danila, 2010. "Corruption and culture: An experimental analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 862-869, December.
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:99:y:2005:i:03:p:315-325_05 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bazzi, Samuel & Sumarto, Sudarno & Suryahadi, Asep, 2015. "It's all in the timing: Cash transfers and consumption smoothing in a developing country," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 267-288.
    2. Abhijit Banerjee & Rema Hanna, 2012. "Corruption," Introductory Chapters,in: Sendhil Mullainathan & Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.), The Handbook of Organizational Economics Princeton University Press.
      • Hanna, Rema N. & Mullainathan, Sendhil & Banerjee, Abhijit, 2012. "Corruption," Scholarly Articles 8830779, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
      • Abhijit Banerjee & Sendhil Mullainathan & Rema Hanna, 2012. "Corruption," NBER Working Papers 17968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Abhijit Banerjee & Rema Hanna & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2012. "Corruption," Working Papers id:4952, eSocialSciences.
      • Banerjee, Abhijit & Hanna, Rema & Mullainathan, Sendhil, 2012. "Corruption," Working Paper Series rwp12-023, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    3. Bah, Adama & Bazzi, Samuel & Sumarto, Sudarno & Tobias, Julia, 2014. "Finding the Poor vs. Measuring Their Poverty: Exploring the Drivers of Targeting Effectiveness in Indonesia," MPRA Paper 59759, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Adriana Camacho & Emily Conover & Alejandro Hoyos, 2014. "Effects of Colombia's Social Protection System on Workers' Choice between Formal and Informal Employment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(3), pages 446-466.
    5. Baird, Sarah & McIntosh, Craig & Özler, Berk, 2013. "The regressive demands of demand-driven development," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 27-41.
    6. Titus J. Galama & Robson Morgan & Juan E. Saavedra, 2017. "Wealthier, Happier and More Self-Sufficient: When Anti-Poverty Programs Improve Economic and Subjective Wellbeing at a Reduced Cost to Taxpayers," NBER Working Papers 24090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Guilhem Cassan, 2015. "Identity-Based Policies and Identity Manipulation: Evidence from Colonial Punjab," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 103-131, November.
    8. Baez, Javier E. & Camacho, Adriana & Conover, Emily & Zárate, Román Andrés, 2012. "Conditional Cash Transfers, Political Participation, and Voting Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 6870, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Collins, Matthew & Curtis, John, 2016. "Evidence, drivers and sources of distortions in the distribution of building energy ratings prior to and after energy efficient retrofitting," Papers WP535, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    10. Rachid Laajaj & Andres Moya & Fabio Sánchez, 2018. "Equality of Opportunity and Human Capital Accumulation: Motivational Effect of a Nationwide Scholarship in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 016352, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    11. Labonne, Julien, 2013. "The local electoral impacts of conditional cash transfers," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 73-88.
    12. Mark Schreiner, 2015. "A Comparison of Two Simple, Low-Cost Ways for Local, Pro-Poor Organizations to Measure the Poverty of Their Participants," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 124(2), pages 537-569, November.
    13. François Gerard & Gustavo Gonzaga, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance in Developing Countries: The Case of Brazil," Textos para discussão 593, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    14. Dehejia, Rajeev, 2013. "The Porous Dialectic: Experimental and Non-Experimental Methods in Development Economics," WIDER Working Paper Series 011, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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