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Local inequality and project choice : theory and evidence from Ecuador

  • Araujo, M. Caridad
  • Ferreira, Francisco H.G.
  • Lanjouw, Peter
  • Ozler, Berk

This paper provides evidence consistent with elite capture of Social Fund investment projects in Ecuador. Exploiting a unique combination of data-sets on village-level income distributions, Social Fund project administration, and province level electoral results, the authors test a simple model of project choice when local political power is unequally distributed. In accordance with the predictions of the model, poorer villages are more likely to receive projects that provide excludable (private) goods to the poor, such as latrines. Controlling for poverty, more unequal communities are less likely to receive such projects. Consistent with the hypothesis of elite capture, these results are sensitive to the specific measure of inequality used in the empirical analysis, and are strongest for expenditure shares at the top of the distribution.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3997.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3997
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  1. Menno Pradhan & Laura B. Rawlings, 2002. "The Impact and Targeting of Social Infrastructure Investments: Lessons from the Nicaraguan Social Fund," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(2), pages 275-295, August.
  2. Chris Elbers & Peter F. Lanjouw & Johan A. Mistiaen & Berk Özler & Ken Simler, 2004. "On the Unequal Inequality of Poor Communities," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(3), pages 401-421.
  3. Demombynes, Gabriel & Elbers, Chris & Lanjouw, Jenny & Lanjouw, Peter & Mistiaen, Johan & Ozler, Berk, 2002. "Producing an Improved Geographic Profile of Poverty: Methodology and Evidence from Three Developing Countries," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2005. "Decentralizing antipoverty program delivery in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 675-704, April.
  5. Mansuri, Ghazala & Rao, Vijayendra, 2004. "Community-based (and driven) development : A critical review," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3209, The World Bank.
  6. Dixit, Avinash K & Londregan, John, 1994. "The Determinants of Success of Special Interests in Redistributive Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1054, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Robert S. Chase, 2002. "Supporting Communities in Transition: The Impact of the Armenian Social Investment Fund," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(2), pages 219-240, August.
  8. Jeff Dayton-Johnson & Pranab Bardhan, 2002. "Inequality And Conservation On The Local Commons: A Theoretical Exercise," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 577-602, July.
  9. Chris Elbers & Jean O. Lanjouw & Peter Lanjouw, 2003. "Micro--Level Estimation of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 355-364, January.
  10. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Decentralized targeting of an antipoverty program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 705-727, April.
  11. Elbers, Chris & Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2002. "Micro-level estimation of welfare," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2911, The World Bank.
  12. Dasgupta, Indraneel & Kanbur, Ravi, 2001. "Class, Community, Inequality," Working Papers 127671, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  13. Elbers, Chris & Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2004. "Imputed welfare estimates in regression analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3294, The World Bank.
  14. Christina Paxson & Norbert R. Schady, 2002. "The Allocation and Impact of Social Funds: Spending on School Infrastructure in Peru," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(2), pages 297-319, August.
  15. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
  16. Arjan de Haan & Jeremy Holland & Nazneen Kanji, 2002. "Social funds: an effective instrument to support local action for poverty reduction?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(5), pages 643-652.
  17. Francisco H.G. Ferreira, 2001. "Education for the masses? The interaction between wealth, educational and political inequalities," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 9(2), pages 533-552, July.
  18. Howard White, 2002. "Social funds: a review of the issues," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(5), pages 605-610.
  19. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
  20. John Newman & Menno Pradhan & Laura B. Rawlings & Geert Ridder & Ramiro Coa & Jose Luis Evia, 2002. "An Impact Evaluation of Education, Health, and Water Supply Investments by the Bolivian Social Investment Fund," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(2), pages 241-274, August.
  21. Julie van Domelen, 2002. "Social funds: evidence on targeting, impacts and sustainability," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(5), pages 627-642.
  22. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
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