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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

  • Nora Lustig


    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

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.

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Paper provided by Tulane University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1123.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1123
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  1. 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).
  2. Haddad, Lawrence & Hoddinott, John & Alderman, Harold & DEC, 1994. "Intrahousehold resource allocation : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1255, The World Bank.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  6. Quisumbing, A.R., 1991. "Intergenerational Transfers in Philippine Rice Villages: Gender Differences in Traditional Inheritance Customs," Papers 632, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  7. 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.
  8. Besley, Timothy J & Kanbur, S M Ravi, 1988. "Food Subsidies and Poverty Alleviation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(392), pages 701-19, September.
  9. 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, vol. 21(1), pages 65-87, April.
  10. 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.
  11. Reutlinger, Shlomo & Alderman, Harold, 1980. "The prevalence of calorie-deficient diets in developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 8(5-6), pages 399-411.
  12. T. Paul Schultz, 1990. "Testing the Neoclassical Model of Family Labor Supply and Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 599-634.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Scobie, Grant McDonald, 1983. "Food subsidies in Egypt: their impact on foreign exchange and trade," Research reports 40, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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