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

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  • Fried, Brian J.

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Fried, Brian J., 2012. "Distributive Politics and Conditional Cash Transfers: The Case of Brazil’s Bolsa Família," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 1042-1053.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:40:y:2012:i:5:p:1042-1053
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2011.09.022
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
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    4. 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.
    5. James A. Robinson & Thierry Verdier, 2013. "The Political Economy of Clientelism," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(2), pages 260-291, April.
    6. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:devpol:v:35:y:2017:i:5:p:703-720 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Michaël Aklin & Patrick Bayer & S. Harish & Johannes Urpelainen, 2014. "Who blames corruption for the poor enforcement of environmental laws? Survey evidence from Brazil," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 16(3), pages 241-262, July.
    3. Luca, Davide, 2016. "Votes and Regional Economic Growth: Evidence from Turkey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 477-495.
    4. Armando Barrientos & Dario Debowicz & Ingrid Woolard, 2014. "Antipoverty Transfers and Inclusive Growth in Brazil," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series iriba_wp04, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    5. 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.
    6. Akerkar, Supriya & Joshi, P.C. & Fordham, Maureen, 2016. "Cultures of Entitlement and Social Protection: Evidence from Flood Prone Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 46-58.
    7. 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.
    8. Eric ROUGIER & François COMBARNOUS & Yves-André FAURE, 2017. "The ‘local economy’ effect of social transfers: A municipality-level analysis of the local growth impact of the Bolsa Familia Programme in the Brazilian Nordeste," Cahiers du GREThA 2017-09, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    9. Armando Barrientos, 2013. "Human Development Income Transfers in the Longer Term," Working Papers 116, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    10. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:199-215 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. 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.

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