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Scholars Who Became Practitioners: the Influence of Research on the Design, Evaluation and Political Survival of Mexico's Anti-poverty Program Progresa/Oportunidades

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  • Nora Lustig

    () (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

Abstract

Celebrated by academics, multilateral organizations, policy-makers and the media, Mexico's Progresa/Oportunidades conditional cash transfers program (CCT) is constantly used as a model of a successful anti-poverty program. Here I argue that the transformation of well-trained scholars into influential practitioners played a fundamental role in promoting a new conceptual approach to poverty reduction, ensuring the technical soundness and effectiveness of the program, incorporating rigorous impact evaluation, and persuading politicians to implement and keep the program in place. The involvement of scholars-practitioners also helped disseminate the new CCT "technology" to many countries around the world within a decade.

Suggested Citation

  • Nora Lustig, 2011. "Scholars Who Became Practitioners: the Influence of Research on the Design, Evaluation and Political Survival of Mexico's Anti-poverty Program Progresa/Oportunidades," Working Papers 1123, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1123
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    File URL: http://econ.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul1123.pdf
    File Function: First Version, 2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Haddad, Lawrence & Hoddinott, John & Alderman, Harold & DEC, 1994. "Intrahousehold resource allocation : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1255, The World Bank.
    2. Newman, John & Rawlings, Laura & Gertler, Paul, 1994. "Using Randomized Control Designs in Evaluating Social Sector Programs in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 181-201, July.
    3. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
    4. Scobie, Grant McDonald, 1983. "Food subsidies in Egypt: their impact on foreign exchange and trade," Research reports 40, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Per Pinstrup-Andersen & Elizabeth Caicedo, 1978. "The Potential Impact of Changes in Income Distribution on Food Demand and Human Nutrition," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 60(3), pages 402-415.
    6. C. Peter Timmer & Harold Alderman, 1979. "Estimating Consumption Parameters for Food Policy Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 61(5), pages 982-987.
    7. Kehoe, Timothy J. & Serra-Puche, Jaime, 1986. "A general equilibrium analysis of price controls and subsidies on food in mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 65-87.
    8. Quisumbing, Agnes R., 1994. "Intergenerational transfers in Philippine rice villages : Gender differences in traditional inheritance customs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 167-195.
    9. Reutlinger, Shlomo & Alderman, Harold, 1980. "The prevalence of calorie-deficient diets in developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 8(5-6), pages 399-411.
    10. 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.
    11. von Braun, Joachim & de Haen, Hartwig, 1983. "The effects of food price and subsidy policies on Egyptian agriculture:," Research reports 42, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Quisumbing, Agnes R., 1994. "Intergenerational transfers in Philippine rice villages : Gender differences in traditional inheritance customs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 167-195.
    13. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1987. "Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with Income? A Case Study for Rural South India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 492-507, June.
    14. Besley, Timothy J & Kanbur, S M Ravi, 1988. "Food Subsidies and Poverty Alleviation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(392), pages 701-719, September.
    15. Alderman, Harold & von Braun, Joachim, 1984. "The effects of the Egyptian food ration and subsidy system on income distribution and consumption:," Research reports 45, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    16. T. Paul Schultz, 1990. "Testing the Neoclassical Model of Family Labor Supply and Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, pages 599-634.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Progesa: a success story thanks to academics
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-09-06 19:50:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Raymundo Campos & Gerardo Esquivel & Nora Lustig, 2012. "The Rise and Fall of Income Inequality in Mexico, 1989–2010," Working Papers 267, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Carlos Chiapa & José Luis Garrido & Silvia Prina, 2010. "The effect of social programs and exposure to professionals on the educational aspirations of the poor," Serie documentos de trabajo del Centro de Estudios Económicos 2010-11, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos.
    4. Chiapa, Carlos & Garrido, José Luis & Prina, Silvia, 2012. "The effect of social programs and exposure to professionals on the educational aspirations of the poor," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 778-798.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    anti-poverty programs; conditional cash transfers; scholars; practitioners; Progresa; Oportunidades; Mexico;

    JEL classification:

    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy

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    1. Nora Lustig in Wikipedia Spanish ne '')
    2. Economic Logic blog

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