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Conditional Cash Transfers, Political Participation, and Voting Behavior

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  • Javier E. Baez

    ()

  • Adriana Camacho

    ()

  • Emily Conover

    ()

  • Román A. Zárate

    ()

Abstract

This paper estimates the effect of enrollment in a large scale anti-poverty program inColombia, 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. These results are also more evident among women. 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 mechanismsthat avoid successful anti-poverty schemes from being captured by political patronage.

Suggested Citation

  • Javier E. Baez & Adriana Camacho & Emily Conover & Román A. Zárate, 2012. "Conditional Cash Transfers, Political Participation, and Voting Behavior," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 010312, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000089:010312
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    File URL: http://economia.uniandes.edu.co/publicaciones/dcede2012-32.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Oskar Nupia, 2011. "Anti-Poverty Programs and Presidential Election Outcomes: Familias en Acción in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 008743, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    6. Orazio Attanasio & Erich Battistin & Alice Mesnard, 2012. "Food and Cash Transfers: Evidence from Colombia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 92-124, March.
    7. Xavier Giné & Ghazala Mansuri, 2018. "Together We Will: Experimental Evidence on Female Voting Behavior in Pakistan," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 207-235, January.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Zimmermann, Laura V, 2015. "May There Be Victory: Government Election Performance and the World's Largest Public-Works Program," IZA Discussion Papers 9161, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Matejka, Filip & Tabellini, Guido, 2015. "Electoral Competition with Rationally Inattentive Voters," CEPR Discussion Papers 10888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Independent Evaluation Group, 2014. "Social Safety Nets and Gender : Learning from Impact Evaluations and World Bank Projects," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21365.
    6. Harold Alderman & Ruslan Yemtsov, 2014. "How Can Safety Nets Contribute to Economic Growth?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 1-20.
    7. Christopher Blattman & Mathilde Emeriau & Nathan Fiala, 2017. "Do Anti-Poverty Programs Sway Voters? Experimental Evidence from Uganda," NBER Working Papers 23035, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conditional Cash Transfers; voting behavior; Colombia;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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