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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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5382
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yang Yao & Nancy Qia & Monica Martinez Bravo & Gerard Padro i Miquel, 2011. "Do Local Elections in Non-Democracies Increase Accountability? Evidence from Rural China," Working Papers id:3931, eSocialSciences.
    2. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Paul Gertler & Marco Gonzalez-Navarro & Simeon Nichter, 2017. "Vulnerability and Clientelism," NBER Working Papers 23589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Mariana Lopes da Fonseca, 2016. "Candid Lame Ducks," CESifo Working Paper Series 5773, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. 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.
    5. Chris Elbers & Jan Willem Gunning, 2014. "Evaluation of Development Programs: Randomized Controlled Trials or Regressions?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(3), pages 432-445.
    6. Mário Rubem Do Coutto Bastos & Mário Rubem Do Coutto Bastos, 2016. "Yardstick Competition E A Disciplina Eleitoral No Programa Bolsa Família," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 070, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    7. repec:eee:pubeco:v:152:y:2017:i:c:p:119-132 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Yanez-Pagans, Monica & Machicado-Salas, Gustavo, 2014. "Bureaucratic Delay, Local-Level Monitoring, and Delivery of Small Infrastructure Projects: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Bolivia," World Development, Elsevier, pages 394-407.
    9. repec:eee:regeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Rafael P. Ribas, 2014. "Liquidity Constraints, Informal Financing, and Entrepreneurship: Direct and Indirect Effects of a Cash Transfer Programme," Working Papers 131, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    11. Paul Redmond & John Regan, 2013. "Incumbency Advantage in Irish Elections: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n241-13.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    12. Eric Avis & Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2016. "Do Government Audits Reduce Corruption: Estimating the Impacts of Exposing Corrupt Politicians," Working Papers id:11148, eSocialSciences.
    13. repec:cup:apsrev:v:106:y:2012:i:04:p:742-761_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. 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.
    15. Mogues, Tewodaj & Erman, Alvina, 2016. "Institutional arrangements to make public spending responsive to the poor—(where) have they worked?: Review of the evidence on four major intervention types," IFPRI discussion papers 1519, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    16. Pranab Bardhan, 2015. "State and Economic Development: The Need for a Reappraisal of the Current Literature," Working Papers id:7060, eSocialSciences.
    17. Chen, Ting & Kung, J.K.-S., 2016. "Do land revenue windfalls create a political resource curse? Evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 86-106.
    18. Kosec, Katrina, 2014. "Relying on the private sector: The income distribution and public investments in the poor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 320-342.
    19. Brollo, Fernanda & Nannicini, Tommaso, 2012. "Tying Your Enemy's Hands in Close Races: The Politics of Federal Transfers in Brazil," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 106(04), pages 742-761, November.
    20. Guojun He & Shaoda Wang, 2016. "Do College Graduates Serving as Village Officials Help Rural China?," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2016-39, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Nov 2016.
    21. Pranab Bardhan, 2016. "State and Development: The Need for a Reappraisal of the Current Literature," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(3), pages 862-892, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    conditional cash transfer; electoral incentives; decentralization; impact evaluation;

    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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