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Local Electoral Incentives and Decentralized Program Performance

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • de Janvry, Alain & Finan, Frederico S. & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2010. "Local Electoral Incentives and Decentralized Program Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 5382, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5382
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    decentralization; electoral incentives; conditional cash transfer; impact evaluation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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